Oikonomou: PM Will Raise the Issue of the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures

November 15, 2021

ATHENS – “Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is going to London on Monday. He will have meetings with investors, representatives of the Confederation of British Industrialists, and he will speak at the opening of the exhibition ‘Ancient Greeks – Science and Wisdom’, as well as at an event for Greeks of the Diaspora. Tomorrow, Tuesday, he will have a meeting with the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during which issues of bilateral cooperation will be discussed, with an emphasis on the development of economic and trade relations, especially in tourism in view of 2022,” government spokesperson Yiannis Economou said on Monday, during a press briefing.

“The prime minister will also raise the issue of the return of the Parthenon Sculptures, which is major for all Greeks but also for world culture,” he underlined.

Mitsotakis also raised the issue of the Sculptures last Friday, at the event held in Paris for the 75th anniversary of the founding of UNESCO. In particular, he recalled that the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution had unanimously acknowledged that the case was of an intergovernmental nature.

Therefore, the obligation to return the sculptures of the Parthenon absolutely concerns the government of the United Kingdom. He stressed that the sculptures were an extremely important part of the world’s cultural heritage and called on London to start a dialogue in good faith for their return. “Our country, Greece, with the age-old cultural weight that distinguishes it, which it has, now plays a leading role in the global cultural scene,” Economou added.

The government spokesperson also stressed that “in Paris, in the conference on Libya, in which the prime minister participated, as you know, in the context of the multifaceted and active diplomacy that our country has developed over the past two years, he stressed that Greece is ready to cooperate with the Libyan government that will emerge from the elections in order to resume discussions on a maritime delimitation agreement. He pointed out that a prerequisite for peace in the region and stabilisation in Libya is the holding of elections at the agreed time and the withdrawal of all foreign troops and mercenaries as soon as possible.”

Economou underlined: “it is important that the conclusions of the Conference fully correspond with the positions of the Greek side.”


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