Greek PM says Parthenon Sculptures should return to Athens

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Speaking to a British newspaper the Observer, the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, told the publication he is willing to allow treasures that have never been shown abroad before to be exhibited in London in exchange for the Parthenon Sculptures being returned to Athens for 2021.

PM Mitsotakis said in the interview that he called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to return the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens for 2021, the bicentennial celebration of Greek War of Independence.

The PM proposed “as a first move” for the definitive return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece that they should be exhibited for a certain period in Athens on the 2021 celebrations. “The timing is excellent,” he said. At the same time, Kyriakos Mitsotakis proposed to organise an exhibition at the British Museum with some important artefacts that have never been shown abroad before.

“Our wish and ambition is to create the necessary conditions for Greek cultural heritage to travel the world and in so doing convey the great and essential contribution of our country to western civilisation,” he said in his office last week.

“In this context, given the significance of 2021, I will propose to Boris: ‘As a first move, loan me the sculptures for a certain period of time and I will send you very important artefacts that have never left Greece to be exhibited in the British Museum’.”

“Of course our demand for the return of the sculptures remains in place,” said Mitsotakis. “I don’t think [Britain] should be fighting a losing battle. Eventually this is going to be a losing battle. At the end of the day there is going to be mounting pressure on this issue.”