The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has called on Britain to return of the Parthenon sculptures from the British Museum, according to Greek Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni.
“Together with the recommendation that was issued – referring to the poor conditions of exposure that the sculptures are kept in at the British Museum – Greece also achieved a decision from the Intergovernmental Committee that pertains specifically to the return of the Parthenon sculptures,” she said a day after the 22nd session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property (ICPRCP) ended in Paris.
“The committee urgently calls on the United Kingdom to review is position and enter into a discussion with Greece, recognizing that the issue is of an intergovernmental nature – in contrast to claims from the British side that it is a matter for the British Museum – and mainly that Greece has a valid and legal claim to demand the return of the sculptures to their place of birth,” she added.
“I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the members of the Greek delegation, as well as our Permanent Representation to UNESCO,” Mendoni said.
The minister described the decision as a “particularly significant development.”
Greece has consistently called for the return of the marbles after Britain’s Lord Elgin stole them between 1801 and 1812.
It is recalled that the British Museum officially stated last September that it does not intend to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.