Greece in talks on Parthenon
ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
This photo shows the Parthenon temple at the Acropolis hill in Athens. REUTERS photoGreece is holding talks with the British Museum on the return of fragments from the Parthenon Marbles, the director of the Acropolis Museum in Athens said yesterday.
Demetrios Pantermalis said he had made a proposal on the issue at a UNESCO meeting in June and that talks would be held in Athens in the coming weeks.
“I proposed an arrangement to colleagues from the British Museum, involving pieces, hands, heads, legs that belong to bodies from the Parthenon sculptures and can be reattached,” Pantermalis told Skai Radio. “The proposal has been accepted in principle, we will have a discussion in the autumn,” he said.
Greece has long campaigned for the return of the priceless friezes, removed in 1806 by Lord Elgin when Greece was occupied by the Ottoman Empire and later sold to the British Museum.
The British Museum has turned down successive Greek calls for their return, arguing that the sculptures are part of world heritage and are more accessible to visitors in London.
Inaugurated in June 2009, the new Acropolis Museum includes a section reserved for the disputed collection.
Pantermalis said the Marbles issue remained “taboo” and that the new proposal involving smaller pieces could be a way to “unravel the thread.”