Brits again sparked by fear Greece may stall Brexit over return of Parthenon Marbles



English media is reporting Greece has again sparked fears of delaying the Brexit, if the Brits do not hand back the Parthenon Marbles, with each of the remaining 27 EU member states needing to give their backing to a Brexit deal in order for it to go ahead.

According to reports, activists claim this gives Greece a good negotiating position to demand the return of the treasured ancient art and are trying to persuade the Greek government to use this opportunity to finally see the Parthenon marbles back in Athens.

As reported by Greek City Times earlier this month, European Parliament member Stelios Kouloglou had called on the EU Commission to include this ongoing issue in Brexit talks. “Brexit negotiators must take into account the need to protect European cultural heritage… The Parthenon Marbles are considered as the greatest symbol of European culture. Therefore, reuniting the marbles would be both a sign of respect and civilised relationship between Great Britain and the EU, and much more [than] a legal necessity.”

Alexis Mantheakis, who co-founded the International Parthenon Sculptures Action Committee (IPSACI), told English media, "If it can give back India, it can empty one room in London to return these items."

Mantheakis also says the real question is whether Greece's government decides to make these demands. "We're hoping the Greek government will do it. It's a unique opportunity," said Mantheakis.

Previous attempts by the Greek government to return the stolen statues to the Acropolis Museum have failed and according to the British Museum, Athens may borrow the art works, but refuse to give them back, as they claim there is a trustees ownership in Britain.

The Greek government has so far declined to take the argument to court, with an outcome which could go either way but has not ruled out that possibility for the future, a spokesperson for the Culture Ministry said. According to the Ministry, the Greek government is committed to using diplomacy as a means of resolving the return.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.