August 8, 2006

Voulgarakis speaks on the return of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 12:40 pm in Elgin Marbles

Hellenic Republic Culture Minister, George Voulgarakis has given an interview where he specifically speaks about the return of the Parthenon sculptures to Athens. He makes it clear that requests for repatriation should be separated from ultra-nationalistic agendas, which often hijack cases such as this. He believes that this is important for the case to be taken seriously & dealt with on its own merits.

Athens News Agency

Culture minister on the return of Marbles

Culture Minister George Voulgarakis has said that “the strategy for the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles must be shaped on a realistic basis and independent of nationalistic-centred obsessions.”

In an interview in the Sunday edition of “Chora” newspaper, the minister said “such a strategy is necessary so that its objective purposes be feasible.”

Voulgarakis also said that the request for the return of the Parthenon Marbles “must be detached from the supra-patriotic and nationalistic perceptions which swayed to date the policies which were sought to be paved or which were implemented.”

This detachment, he said, “will give the possibility so that the request of repatriation to exactly have the meaning of the restoration of culture throughout the whole of mankind.”

The culture minister also said that the return of the Parthenon Marbles “could not but be harmonised with the spirit of the era and the present conjunction.”

He explained that “the terms of this diplomatic game,” as he described the whole procedure for the return, “are determined by rules of reciprocation.” In this context, “our country, due to its numerous antiquities, can lend or grant monuments of its classical heritage or superb works of art, so that they can be put on show in exhibition tours abroad,” he said.

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