BBC: Mitsotakis likens Parthenon Sculptures case to cutting up 'Mona Lisa' and giving half to another museum

Kyriakos Mitsotakis to BBC

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was the man credited with turning around his country's economy and was rewarded with a majority vote this summer, BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg said, welcoming the Greek leader to her Sunday morning political show in London.

Her questions focused on the migration issue and progress in talks on the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.

On the migration issue, Mitsotakis said that Greece must implement a strict but fair policy, and the main goal was a reduction of boats with migrants leaving Turkey's shores.

Reducing the number of migrants arriving at Greek islands greatly relieved the residents of the islands, he noted, but he also noted that the processing for asylum applications has speeded up as well.

Kuenssberg referred to the fatal shipwreck off Pylos in western Greece, asking him if the Greek Coast Guard made mistakes. Mitsotakis responded that the issue is under investigation by Greek justice, while adding that the Coast Guard has saved tens of thousands of migrants all these years, for which they are due gratitude. He also underlined the role human traffickers play in migration as key actors in tragedies.

The Greek PM also spoke of the issue with the Parthenon Sculptures that he clarified is not simply a return but a reunification with the rest of the Parthenon monument in Athens.

He likened the issue with dividing Da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa' in half, with one piece ending up at the British Museum and another remaining in the Louvre, which would not help in the piece's full appreciation.

Although he admitted that the Greek government has not progressed as far as it liked, he said he is patient and hopes to resolve the issue within his term of government.

Mitsotakis is on a three-day working visit to London as of Sunday.

READ MORE: Gerapetritis: ‘We welcome the Cooperation Council with Turkey, with knowledge and seriousness’

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