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Greece to discuss Parthenon marbles issue with British Government

More coverage of the planned talks [1] between Greece & Britain about the issues surrounding the Parthenon Sculptures.

BBC News [2]

Last Updated: Saturday, 21 April 2007, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Talks due on Elgin Marbles return

A lengthy dispute between Britain and Greece may move a step closer to a resolution when sides meet to discuss returning the Elgin Marbles to Athens.

Talks in two weeks’ time will be the first serious negotiations after years of resistance by the British Museum.

The BBC’s Malcolm Brabant said the director of the museum – holders of the sculptures for nearly 200 years – had hinted of a possible six-month loan.

The move has been welcomed by Victoria Solomonides, of London’s Greek Embassy.

Talks between senior representatives from both nation’s cultural ministries and their legal advisors will take place in London on 4 May.

‘Pollution damage’

Malcolm Brabant, the BBC’s Athens correspondent, said one option may be for the marbles to be held in a British Museum annexe of a new museum due to open in Athens this summer.

He said this would mean London could maintain ownership while the priceless sculptures, which once adorned the Parthenon temple, could be enjoyed by Greeks and their visitors.

The idea has been described as “excellent” by Andrew George, the Liberal Democrat MP, who is campaigning in Parliament for the Marbles to be returned to the place where they were created more than 2,000 years ago.

Greece has long campaigned for their return. But the British Museum says the Marbles are better off in London, safe from pollution damage in Athens.

Kathimerini (English Edition) [3]

Friday April 20, 2007


Greece to speak to British Museum next month about loan of artifacts

Greek officials and representatives of the British Museum may discuss possibly loaning the Parthenon Marbles to Greece when they meet on May 4, Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said yesterday. Voulgarakis was reacting to comments by Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, who said that “in principle” the antiquities could spend three or six months in another country. However, MacGregor told Bloomberg News that the Greek government would first have to admit the Parthenon Marbles belong to the British Museum. “The Greek government has never asked for a loan of the material from the British Museum. The issue has always been about the permanent removal of all the Parthenon material in the BM collection to Athens,” said MacGregor. Voulgarakis said he read the comments “with interest..”