deputy director of British Museum proposes ‘parthenon partnership’ with Greece, which was able to see the marble, returned to Athens after more than 200 years.
Sculptures – 17 figures and part of frieze that adorned 2500-year- the old temple of the Parthenon on Acropolis – was taken by Lord Elgin in early 19th century when he was the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and since then of old dispute over Where are they should displayed.
In an interview with Sunday Times Culture magazine, Jonathan Williams said that the British Museum wanted “change the temperature of debate” around balloons.
Williams said: “What we call for is active “Parthenon Partnership” with our friends and colleagues in Greece. I firmly believe there is space for really dynamic and positive conversation, in which new ways of can work together found”.
The British Museum did not say it would donate the sculptures back, with Williams claims they are “absolutely integral” of Collection.
However, he said that theywant change temperature of debate”, adding that all parties need to “find way forward around cultural exchange of a level, intensity and dynamism that has not been conceived until now.”
He added: “There are a lot of great things that we would be happy to lend and borrow. This is what we do.”
Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, called for Marble sculptures of the Parthenon to be returned to Greece on many times, even offering to borrow some of other treasures of his country in the British Museum in exchange.
Mitsotakis reiterated that Greece is open to negotiations, but said: “Baby steps not enough. We want big steps”.
director of Nikolaos Stampolidis, of the Acropolis Museum, said there could be “the basis for constructive negotiations with proposal “positive partnership of the Parthenon”.
He added: “In the hard days we live in to bring them back would be an act of history. It would be as if the British were restoring democracy themselves.”