Britain: Sunday Times readers say ‘Yes’ to the return of the Parthenon Sculptures

Parthenon Marbles British Museum

78% of Sunday Times readers approved the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece, according to a poll carried out by the newspaper with the following question:

“Should the Elgin Marbles be returned to Greece?"to which 78% of the 11,315 survey participants responded with a resounding YES, with only 22% of pollsters opposing their return.

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Elgin and the Dodwell painting

The survey results are yet another positive development in Greece’s perennial request for the reunification of the Phidias sculptures, gaining unprecedented momentum in recent months.

Even the Times newspaper, a traditional opponent for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures, has softened its stance to the point of even issuing a survey which it must have known would favour the Greek request.

“For more than 50 years, artists and politicians have argued that these artefacts so fundamental to a nation’s cultural identity should be returned to Greece. The museum and the British government, with the support of The Times newspaper, resisted this pressure. but times and circumstances have changed. The sculptures belong to Athens. And they must now be returned,” she wrote in her main article on January 12, 2022.

And a YouGov poll in the United Kingdom last November showed that 59% of respondents believe that the Sculptures belong to Greece, while only 18% answered that they belong to Britain. The remaining 22% said they had no opinion.

British museum agrees to return looted Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

A London museum has agreed to return a collection of Benin Bronzes looted in the late 19th century from what is now Nigeria as cultural institutions throughout Britain come under pressure to repatriate artifacts acquired during the colonial era.

The Horniman Museum and Gardens in south-east London said that it would transfer a collection of 72 items to the Nigerian government. The decision comes after Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments formally asked for the artifacts to be returned earlier this year and following a consultation with community members, artists and schoolchildren in Nigeria and Britain, the museum said.

Countries including Nigeria, Egypt and Greece, as well indigenous peoples from North America to Australia, are increasingly demanding the return of artifacts and human remains amid a global reassessment of colonialism and the exploitation of local populations.

Read More Stephen Fry asks Britain to be ‘classy’ and return Parthenon Sculptures