Greece's PM senses "momentum" in " Parthenon Sculptures " talks with Britain

Parthenon Marbles British Museum

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared on Monday that negotiations with Britain to reunite the Parthenon Sculptures in Greece were making "progress" and showing "momentum."

Since Lord Elgin, a British diplomat, removed the 75 metres of the Parthenon frieze, 15 metopes, and 17 sculptures in the early 19th century while serving as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which was then in charge of Greece, Athens has fought to have the "Elgin Marbles," as they are commonly known, returned from the British Museum.

The reunion of the statues might be a "win-win solution," Mitsotakis said during a gathering at the London School of Economics, adding that "we have seen progress."

The British Museum bought the marbles in 1816, and British officials say they had been acquired legally by Elgin, a claim Greece denies.

"I do sense the momentum (to reunite the sculptures)," Mitsotakis added.

The King, he said, has 'a Greek heritage which he values and cherishes', adding: 'I think the mood is changing in the UK.'

It has emerged that Greek businessman John Lefas, 71, is investing millions in flying British MPs to Athens to lobby them to overturn UK law and allow the marble's return.

Lord Vaizey, a former Tory culture minister, has already taken the trip as part of the Parthenon Project, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

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