May 6, 2009

Greek schoolchildren stage protest outside British Museum

Posted at 1:07 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

With assistance from the Marbles Reunited campaign, a group of children from a school in Kefalonia have visited the UK & staged a protest outside the British Museum.

PR Newswire

Students, Supported by Marbles Reunited, Stage a Peaceful Protest at the British Museum
LONDON, May 6 /PRNewswire/

Forty five secondary school students and five teachers from the 2nd General Lyceum in Argostoli (Kefalonia), visited London in order to stage a peaceful protest for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens at the British Museum on Sunday 03 May 2009. This protest was supported by Marbles Reunited.

Marbles Reunited is a British campaigning organisation and Friends of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.

The Parthenon Sculptures were removed from the Parthenon in Athens between 1801-1812. They were subsequently bought by the British Government in 1816 and placed in the British Museum’s Duveen Gallery, where they have remained.

The first recorded request for their return was made by Greece in 1833. The British Museum has long argued why these sculptures should remain in London. One such argument was that Greece had nowhere to display the sculptures.

The New Acropolis Museum (, designed by Swiss architect, Bernard Tschumi at a cost of around 130 million Euros, will officially open on 20 June 2009. It will hold around 4,000 artefacts and will have an exhibition space of 14,000 square metres.

At present the British Museum’s policy remains the same, that the Parthenon Marblesthe largest collection of Parthenon sculptures outside of Greece, will remain in London. Greece has however received fragments from Heidelberg, Palermo and the Vatican.

Yannis Kosmatos from the Second Lyceum of Argostoli, Kefalonia commented “Our primary goal has been to sensitise students and the community, as well as voice our protest against the displacement of the marbles. We have divided the students into two groups, one considering the art, history and literary references to the marbles, the other the various efforts made to bring back the monuments.

“The protest we staged at the British Museum on Sunday was heartfelt with some students holding banners, others playing Greek music while some performed traditional Greek dances. These unique sculptures were created to tell a story and they are best displayed together, as a whole. We hope that the Director of the British Museum will see the merit of rejoining what has been divided unjustly for two centuries. ”

Issued on behalf of Marbles Reunited by Marlen Taffarello, for further information or images, please call +44-(0)208-905-6703 or email

Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of Marbles Reunited

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