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British Ex-Lawmaker Opposes Sending Parthenon Marbles to Greece

LONDON – Reports that the British Museum is in talks with Greek officials for a loan deal that would see the stolen Parthenon Marbles displayed in Athens again after more than 200 years riled a former member of Britain’s Parliament.

Speaking on GB News Simon Danczuk was furious over the notion and said that the 17 pieces that made up 30 percent of the Parthenon frieze before being ripped off by a Scottish diplomat, Lord Elgin, belong to the British.

The museum bought them after Elgin got into financial trouble and claimed that purchasing stolen goods was legal because Elgin had permission from the ruling Ottoman Empire to take them.

“I think we should keep them. I really do. It is setting a precedent that is just not acceptable. We are where we are in history and I think we should maintain what we’ve got, look after it well, we present it very well. Economically it’s very positive for the United Kingdom,” he said.

“This is where they are and this is where they’ll stay,” he said despite criticism they are in a grim hall that leaks.

Historian Tessa Dunlop blistered him for that view and told the news site that the museum keeping the marbles is making us look like we’re behind the curve. I don’t know if you know your history. They are the soul of Greece! How can you suggest they belong in a dusty hall in the British Museum?!”

A British Museum spokesman said: “We’ve said publicly we’re actively seeking a new Parthenon partnership with our friends in Greece and, as we enter a new year, constructive discussions are ongoing.”

The reports indicate that the marbles that belong to Greece would only be loaned on a rotating basis, a few at a time over a period of years, which the New Democracy government has said isn’t acceptable but that negotiations are nonetheless ongoing.

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