The London Olympics in 2012 represent a unique opportunity for Britain & Greece to reach an agreement on the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. Professor Mika Kajava from the University of Helsinki elaborated on this at a lecture given recently .
University of Helsinki 
Return of the Marbles?
12th May 2009
“London now has a unique possibility to live up to modern thinking and international agreement by declaring to bring the Parthenon Marbles back to Athens”
– London is hosting the Olympics in the year 2012. London now has a unique possibility to live up to modern thinking and international agreement by declaring to bring the Parthenon Marbles back to Athens, says Professor Mika Kajava from the University of Helsinki and Vice President of the Finnish Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Sculptures.
-This would be a perfect connection of noble principles from ancient time with modern implementation of the Olympic idea. Such an action also shows real respect for other cultures and historical cultures and their heritages, Professor Kajava continues.
-Blaming others, based on personal values, for what their forefathers have done, is seldom very constructive. A support of those, who are ready to follow international agreements, based on commonly accepted values, would in my mind be more productive, Kajava continued. Both the British Museum and the politicians in UK will gain in international public respect by declaring that they are ready to restitute the Parthenon marbles to Athens in connection to the Olympics in London in 2012.
Professor Kajava spoke at the seminar on the Parthenon Marbles, which was part of the official programme of the state visit of the President of the Hellenic Republic, H.E., Dr. Karolos Papoulias.
– It is wonderful to see that the marbles are not only an issue for one single country, but a common goal, President Papoulias stated.
In addition to the moral point of view, also the aesthetic point was used as an argument for the restitution of the marbles.
The Acropolis is the most well known symbol of one of the most productive and glorious periods in the history of mankind. When work began on the Parthenon in 447 BC, the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Text: Karin Hannukainen
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro