Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said there’s increasing support internationally for the British Museum to return the stolen Parthenon Marbles despite years of refusal and with officials there saying the treasures now belong to them and not Greece.
During a visit to the Acropolis Museum, which opened with 2009 and was designed to house the Marbles if they are ever returned, he noted a piece in the London Sunday Times by a Deputy Editor, Sarah Baxter, who joined the chorus of those who said they should be returned.
He said, “A major goal, of key national importance, namely the return of the Marbles … is gaining increasing international support,” without noting that’s been the case for years and hasn’t led to any chance of the marbles return.
He added that the increased backing for the Greek government’s aim to secure the sculptures “should not lead to complacency on our part.” “On the contrary, it increases our obligations,” he said.
Ironically, the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the Marbles don’t belong to Greece but to the world and that it’s not willing to go to court to try to get them back, letting the stolen goods stay in London.
Baxter, as have many others, including the late writer Christopher Hitchens, the foremost champion of the Marbles return, wrote that with the opening of the Acropolis Museum that the British Museum has no argument left to keep them.
The Acropolis Museum in Athens is perfectly capable of hosting its original sculptures of the Parthenon instead of the copies it exhibits, she wrote.
“I simply can’t think of a sound reason for refusing Greece’s claim for their return,” she said. She added that, “It is hard to deny that they belong to their original place, why not exchange them? We are fighting a losing battle to maintain our looting when there are innovative ways to share our knowledge,” she added.