Last week’s front page opinion article by Fotis Kapetopoulos in Neos Kosmos, Parthenon Sculptures ignored in ABC TV’s The Stuff The British Stole, October 28, has ignited discussion across social media.

Kapetopoulos opined that the producers of the ABC’s television series, The Stuff The British Stole, presented and written by Marc Fennell, made a “conscious editorial decision” not to feature the Parthenon Sculptures.

The series is based on a 2021 successful podcast by Fennell of the same name, in which the Parthenon Sculptures (Marbles) were featured in the second series, after Kapetopoulos made Fennell aware of the long-running dispute between Britain and Greece, over the Parthenon Sculptures (Marbles) being ripped off the Parthenon by Lord Elgin with the support of Greece’s Ottoman colonial occupiers.

On the eve of the TV series premiere Fennell stated via Twitter, and later in an interview on ABC News Breakfast, that the television series features completely new objects to those presented on the podcast of 2021.

Neos Kosmos asked for a response from the producers of the program and were told in an email, “The Stuff The British Stole TV series features six new objects which have not been covered on the podcast.”

“Marc Fennell devoted a full episode of Stuff The British Stole on the Parthenon Sculptures. You can listen to the podcast episode here”

When asked for an interview the producers stated that, “Interviews are not available at this time.”

A marble statue of a naked youth thought to represent Greek god Dionysos, center, from the east pediment of the Parthenon, at the British Museum in London ,from the ancient sculptures stolen from the Parthenon in Athens more than 200 years ago. Photo AAP/Matt Dunham

Neos Kosmos talked to heritage lawyer, Theodora Gianniotis, who is also a member the International Organising Committee, Australia, for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles. The committee was established in 198l, chaired by Emanuel John Comino AM, JP.

Gianniotis, is based at the University of Sydney and works as the Engagement and Outreach Officer from the Australian Archaeological Institute Athens. The heritage lawyer was positive about the podcast and the television series. However, she said, “A television series has more weight than a podcast.”

“A podcast is specific to an issue, the ABC knows that it will obviously open the series to a wider audience sitting around watching it their living rooms,” Gianniotis told Neos Kosmos.

“Marc Fennell is exposing the British ​Museum and their lies, how they have been spinning for ages across to others, just like they have to the Greeks.”

“He looks at the sheer injustice of the British Museum telling other nations including First Nations people – just like they have been telling the Greeks forever – that they do not know how to look after their own culture.”

“The Parthenon Sculptures campaign is the oldest and most globally recognised cultural heritage dispute.”

“It was a lightning bolt that ignited all other restitution claims around the world especially ​and particular and thankfully really shining a light on claims by First Nations’ people,”Giannotis told Neos Kosmos.

Giannotis also said that she was happy to have discussions with the ABC, and Marc Fennell on the theft of the Parthenon Sculptures in any future series.

George Vardas, from Australians for the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures, established in 2002, and chaired by former ABC chairman David Hill, also talked to Neos Kosmos.

Vardas said that Fennell’s 2021 podcast was “informative and entertaining.”

However Vardas was “critical of the parochial attitude displayed by Kapetopoulos in his opinion”.

Vardas said that the ABC “is capable of defending its own editorial and programming decisions.”

“As far as the campaign for return of the Parthenon Sculptures is concerned the The Stuff The British Stole [podcast] series has been excellent in highlighting the case of illicitly taken cultural artefacts.”

“Fennell has helped elevate the profile of both the issue of the so-called Elgin Marbles and the ongoing campaign for their reunification in Athens.”

Vardas in defence of the program overall said that Fennell “has reiterated that he is keen to revisit the subject of looted cultural property from Greece in a future episode if the opportunity arises”.

Vardas was one of those interviewed in the podcast in relation to the Parthenon Sculptures.