August 10, 2006

Translation of Voulgarakis interview

Posted at 12:51 pm in Elgin Marbles

Eleni Cubitt of the BCRPM has kindly provided me with a translation of the interview that George Voulgarakis gave to Χωρά newspaper in Greece last Sunday.


Interview to the Greek Newspaper “Chorá” – of the 8th August 2006.
The Minister of Culture, Mr. Voulgarakis has set the terms for the restitution of the Parthenon Sculptures on more diplomatic terms on the principle that the restitution of cultural artefacts is the obligation of the whole of humanity.

Q. Do you believe, Minister, that this is a more realistic policy or is it still a purely nationalistic demand by Greece?

A. We are now shaping – and have laid the foundation – for the policy for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures on a new basis.
A diplomatic approach at this level and a diplomacy which is essentially the “diplomacy of culture” may appear as only one way. However, the way by which we are going to employ this policy for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures will be harmonized with the spirit of this century and present circumstances.
The return of our cultural heritage is completely within the cultural aims of to-days society and one of the conditions (of the diplomatic game ) is defined by the rules of reciprocity. Our Country has a plethora of artefacts and important works of Art from antiquity and the classical age and many of these could be exhibited for short of longer periods in the world’s museums.
The self-evident request for restitution by our Country wishes to totally discard its highly nationalistic perception which regrettably has been followed up to now. My request is that we completely embrace cultural restitution within the beliefs (ideas, notions) of the whole of humanity.”

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