News World Greece: Free our marbles from British Museum's "murky prison"

Greece: Free our marbles from British Museum’s “murky prison”

Greece’s president called on Monday for Britain to free the Parthenon marbles from the “murky prison” of its national museum, upping the rhetoric in a near 200-year-old campaign for the sculptures’ return.

President Prokopis Pavlopoulos spoke at Athens’ own glass-fronted Acropolis Museum, which campaigners hope will one day house the classical reliefs and figures taken by a British diplomat in the early nineteenth century.

“Let the British Museum come here and make the comparison between this (Acropolis) museum of light and the murky, if I may say, prison of the British Museum where the Parthenon Marbles are held as trophies,” Pavlopoulos said.

There was no immediate response from the British Museum.

Britain’s Lord Elgin removed the 2,500-year-old sculptures from the Acropolis temple in Athens during a period when Greece was under Ottoman rule.

They have been placed in a gallery inside the British Museum in London, lit by a long skylight.

Greece has repeatedly requested their return since its independence in 1832, and stepped up its campaign in 2009 when it opened its new museum at the foot of the Acropolis hill.

That building holds the sculptures that Elgin left behind alongside plaster casts of the missing pieces, lit by the sun coming through a glass wall looking over the original site.

“This museum can host the Marbles,” Pavlopoulos said. “We are fighting a holy battle for a monument which is unique.”

The British Museum has refused to return the sculptures, saying they were acquired by Elgin under a legal contract with the Ottoman empire.

The museum and other British institutions have also resisted other repatriation campaigns citing legislation preventing them from breaking up collections and arguing that they can preserve items and present them to an international audience.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Headmaster Lambon: The English School still a leader in education (PHOTOS)

The English School has always been an innovator with a reputation as a leader in education but the coronavirus pandemic has proved it is...

Brexiteer Nigel Farage steps down as leader of Reform UK

Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage late on Saturday said he would step down as the leader of Reform UK, the rebranded Brexit Party he launched...

Meghan and Harry to lift lid on royal split in Oprah interview

A highly anticipated Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan airs on U.S. television later on Sunday, amid what one royal...

EU’s Reynders: Cyprus can no longer sell passports through citizenship schemes

Cyprus can no longer sell passports through citizenship schemes, EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders told Sunday’s Phileleftheros in an exclusive interview. And it should...

Mostly sunny on Sunday, some cloud in the afternoon

Mostly sunny on Sunday with increased cloud coverage in the afternoon, according to the Mediterranean island’s Met Service. Winds will be light to moderate, force...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...