A former Conservative culture minister will chair a new body aiming to return the so-called Elgin Marbles to Greece, the BBC can reveal.
Lord Vaizey, culture minister from 2010-2016, says he is confident "a deal is within reach".
On Thursday, the House of Lords will debate an act which restricts museums from disposing of objects in their collections.
former Conservative culture minister will chair a new body aiming to return the so-called Elgin Marbles to Greece, the BBC can reveal.
The Elgin Marbles are currently housed in the British Museum.
In a statement, the museum said:
"We will loan the sculptures, as we do many other objects, to those who wish to display them to the public around the world, provided they will look after them and return them."Deepening public access and understanding, creating new ways and opportunities for collections to be shared and understood right across the world, and forging connections between the present and the past, remain at the core of what the British Museum seeks to achieve," they added.
The fate of the Parthenon Sculptures, as they are more frequently becoming known, is the most high profile in the hotly contested debate about whether museums should return items in their collections to their countries of origin.
With growing calls from some quarters to return items held in British collections to their original countries of origin, some museums, including the V&A, run by Tristram Hunt, have called for the act to be amended or replaced.
It is time to put our energies into an exchange involving a revolving collection of never-seen-in-London before artefacts populating the Duveen Gallery in the British Museum, whilst the sculptures are returned to Greece.