The British Museum should make immediate arrangements to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, Premier John Brumby said in Parliament last week.
Mr Brumby stated that he would write to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to pass on the firm views of both the Victorian Greek community and the Victorian Government on the issue.
“The Marbles need to be returned to Greece immediately – they are an immensely important part of that nation’s history and to Greeks everywhere,” Mr Brumby said.
“It could only be fair and respectful for the Marbles to be returned.” he added.
Meanwhile, the Victorian Premier spoke warmly about Melbourne’s Greek community and it’s contribution and highlighted the government’s efforts to support Greek organisations.
Mr Brumby said the Victorian Government had provided almost $6 million through the Victorian Multicultural Commission to Greek community organisations to celebrate and recognise their culture.
The funding includes: $680,000 for festivals and events including the Antipodes and the Thessaloniki Sister City festivals since 1999; and $440,260 for projects and activities which support Greek community heritage, language culture.
In addition, almost $800,000 of Victorian Government funding had been provided to 38 Greek Community Languages Schools this year. And, $1.4m is set for programs to support Greek welfare and seniors programs, and other events.