February 25, 2014
Greece’s requests for mediation through UNESCO over the return of the Parthenon Marbles were made in early October 2013, but so far there has been no response from the British Museum or British Government.
Now, the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures has written to the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary & Culture Secretary, along with the Trustees of the British Museum, imploring them to take this request seriously.
Dear Prime Minster
Last week the Guardian published the results of a poll that showed 88% of respondents believe Britain should return the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece. The poll is consistent with all the other surveys in recent years that demonstrate overwhelming British public support on this issue.
The widespread support for the return of the Marbles is not limited to the British public. There are now volunteer organisations in 16 countries that have been formed to support the claim for the sculptures to be returned; in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. (partheononinternational.org)
As you would be aware, last year the Director General of UNESCO, Irini Bokova, wrote to your Government requesting that Britain agree to participate in a UNESCO process of mediation to settle the dispute over the Parthenon Sculptures.
There are strong moral arguments for Britain to accept the UNESCO mediation initiative that would allow the issue of the Parthenon Sculptures to be resolved in a spirit of cooperation, good will and friendship, with both sides being able to respect each other’s sensitivities.
We are also confident that in a mediation process there would be the opportunity for the British Museum to explore mutually beneficial arrangements with Greece involving the return of the Marbles that would leave the British Museum in a stronger position than at present.
Accordingly, I would urge you to support the British participation in the proposed UNESCO mediation process.
I will next be in London in March and would very much like the opportunity of meeting with you to discuss the matter.