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Athens – London: Uproar over the Parthenon frieze

Athens – London: Uproar over the Parthenon frieze

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wanted to insist on the return of the famous Parthenon frieze from Great Britain in a planned meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. “They look better in the Acropolis Museum, which is a state-of-the-art purpose-built museum,” Mitsotakis told the BBC yesterday. Mitsotakis accused Sunak of canceling today’s meeting in London.

“I express my anger that the British Prime Minister canceled our scheduled meeting just hours before the scheduled date,” Mitsotakis said in a statement. A spokesman for Sunak rejected that account and said there were no plans to return the sculptures. Meanwhile, Sunak’s office refused to give reasons for canceling the meeting.

Greece has been trying to return for years

Mitsotakis previously said that having more than half of the artworks in the British Museum in London is like dividing the Mona Lisa into two parts and displaying each half in a different location. Greece has been trying for decades to return 56 frieze pieces located in the British Museum in London.

The components of the 75-meter-long frieze were cut from the exterior of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens at the beginning of the 19th century on behalf of the then British ambassador Lord Elgin and brought to Great Britain by agreement with the then Ottoman Empire. .

Athena finds the marble slabs stolen. London believes it was obtained legally. The friezes have been a point of contention between the two countries for decades. In January, the British government ruled out a permanent return to Greece after the media reported on a loan agreement.

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