PARIS – Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis caused some waves at the event marking UNESCO’s 75th anniversary. In his speech to the crowd, Mitsotakis formally called on the United Kingdom to return the Parthenon Marbles, currently housed in the British Museum, back to Greece. Notably, Mitsotakis also addressed the crowd in fluent French.
This is not the first time that Greece has formally requested the Parthenon Marbles back, there have been numerous attempts in recent decades. However, the Greeks were often stonewalled by shaky explanations, and crucially, correct observations that Greece does not have a suitable museum for the priceless treasures and are safer at the British Museum. Since 2009, that talking point has been shot down due to the world-class Acropolis Museum located just meters away from the Parthenon itself.
In his speech to the assembly, Mitsotakis said, ” the United Kingdom should move to a bonafide dialogue with Greece, and I urge them to do so. After all, this year marks the 200th anniversary of Greece’s War of Independence and there could be no better time now in which to reunite the missing sections of the Parthenon sculpture in their birthplace in Greece”.
Earlier in the day, Kyriakos Mitsotakis was welcomed to Paris by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Here are Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ remarks in their entirety: