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Has Greece dropped Parthenon Marbles legal action plans?

Greek Politics is always intriguing to an outsider. I am whether there is any substance to this decision to strike legal action off the list of possible options for the return of the Parthenon Marbles, or whether there is a sensible basis behind it.

No doubt, in due course, more will be revealed, but I feel that it is a great shame to write off methods of retrieving the sculptures, that have yet to be fully explored, while planning to repeat other methods that have been tried before and failed.

This is not the first time that such a statement has been made & then retracted [1].

We are now 3 culture ministers removed from the one who originally commissioned the report – yet still no closer to developing a coherent strategy for dealing with the issue.

David Hill, Amal Clooney & Geoffrey Robertson in Athens [2]

David Hill, Amal Clooney & Geoffrey Robertson in Athens

Kathimerini (English Edition) [3]

NEWS 08.12.2015 : 21:12
Greek gov’t changes course on Parthenon Marbles

Greece is no longer mulling court action to win back the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum in London, Culture Minister Aristides Baltas said Tuesday, adding that the government would kick-start a diplomatic campaign to repatriate the 5th century BC statues.

Questioned by MPs during a session of Parliament’s education committee, Baltas said that the government was unwilling to put forward a legal claim “most importantly because we risk losing the case.”

The committee met to discuss a European Council directive on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a memberstate.

The leftist minister said that lawyer Amal Clooney and the Doughty Street Chambers legal team from London, who had been advising Athens on possible action in the international court to force the British Museum to hand over the Marbles, had already been compensated for their services.

Clooney, who is married to Hollywood star George Clooney, sparked a media frenzy during a visit to Athens for a meeting with then prime minister Antonis Samaras.

Baltas acknowledged the efforts made by the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, saying, “We now have more allies” in the country’s quest to reunite the ancient artifacts.

“This is upping the pressure, but the British Museum is resisting,” he said.

The Marbles were removed from the Parthenon temple in the 19th century by Scottish diplomat Lord Elgin, who then sold them to the British government.

The British Museum has rejected calls to return the sculptures, saying that they were acquired by Elgin through a legitimate contract with the Ottoman Empire which ruled Greece at the time.