Robin Cooks support for the return of the Elgin Marbles has stirred up controversy – but he is seen once more as someone who stands for his own principles.
Financial Times 
Observer – UK
Published: January 15 2004 20:42 | Last Updated: January 15 2004 20:42
Cook finds his marbles
Three years after leaving the Foreign Office, Robin Cook seems to be rediscovering his ethics. First he resigned over the Iraq war. Now he’s taken an interest in the Elgin marbles, whose return to Greece he never contemplated while he was in a position to deliver them as part of his “ethical foreign policy”.
Cook is already a hero in Greece, one of Europe’s most anti-American countries, for his anti-war stance. Observer hears he embraced the marbles at a recent meeting in Athens of the party of European Socialists, of which he is president.
With talk of a marbles/Olympic games swap, culture secretary Tessa Jowell says she’s happy to meet her Greek opposite number but maintains any decision is for the British Museum.
British campaigners are hopeful Cook’s Labour clout will turn the official tide. One, Eleni Cubitt, said he had always been sympathetic but “there was nothing he could say while he was a minister”. Of course, ministers have no power at all, do they?