The foreign affairs select committee in New Zealand’s parliament has recently examined the case of the Elgin Marbles as a result of a petition by those in New Zealand who were concerned about the case. The committee recommended: “That the Government ask the British Government to consider sympathetically the generous Greek offer of joint ownership of the marbles to facilitate their return to Athens.”
Stuff (New Zealand) 
Return the Elgin marbles to Greece says parliamentary committee
08 March 2006
By Ian Llewellyn
A cross-party parliamentary committee has waded into one of the world’s longest-running and most controversial diplomatic disputes, urging the Government to ask Britain to return the Elgin marbles to Greece.
The foreign affairs select committee said yesterday it had completed consideration of a petition from Bruce Blades and 1020 others urging the Government to push for the marbles’ return.
The committee recommended: “That the Government ask the British Government to consider sympathetically the generous Greek offer of joint ownership of the marbles to facilitate their return to Athens.”
The report was written by MPs from Labour, National and the Greens, representing more than 100 MPs of the 121-seat Parliament.
According to Greek authorities, the marbles were stolen from the Parthenon building in the Acropolis complex in 1806 by Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire which occupied Greece at the time.
But London has always denied Greek claims to ownership and maintains that the marbles were bought legitimately from the Ottoman authorities.
Britain also backs the claims of some archeologists that the marbles would be in danger if they were returned.
The Greek Government has dismissed the claims that the foundations of the Acropolis monument in Athens are threatened by rainwater that has seeped into the soil of the ancient citadel.
Of most concern is the fifth-century BC Parthenon temple, which had its roof destroyed during a 17th century siege of the Acropolis by Venetian forces.
The Acropolis, a World Heritage site, has been undergoing restoration for more than 20 years. The majority of the work is expected to be completed by late 2006.