The Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, has reaffirmed his country’s determination to get back the Parthenon Sculptures that are currently held in the British Museum. In a recent meeting in Athens – held with David Hill, chairman of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures – Mr Samaras stressed that despite Greece’s current financial woes the return of the Parthenon Sculptures remained a high priority for the Greek Government.
Mr Samaras also expressed his appreciation and that of the Greek people for the work of all the international committees involved in the campaign for the return of the Marbles. The Greek Prime Minister, who was joined by the deputy Culture Minister, Kostas Tsavaras, also stated that his government would welcome the views of the International Association as to future Government strategies.
In separate talks with Mr Tzavaras, David Hill and members of other members of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures – from Britain, USA, Switzerland and Germany – also met with several members of the newly-constituted consultative committee appointed by the Greek Government and reaffirmed the view of the International Association and its various national member organisations that Greece should make a renewed claim for their return. The Minister repeated that the Greek Government would welcome the overseas committees’ views on the appropriate strategy to be pursued.
Australians for the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures welcome the renewed and firm commitment of the Greek Government to this important cultural issue. They feel that for far too long the British Museum has continued to posture and has refused to engage the Greeks in any constructive dialogue, whether at formal gatherings such as UNESCO or at museum-to-museum level.
For all the philhellenes serving on various international associations around the globe, the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens to be exhibited properly and in context with the surviving sculptures inside the iconic New Acropolis Museum is an issue that will simply not go away. For more information on the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures – the peak umbrella lobbying group – visit www.partheoninternational.net