In case of borrowing the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum and bringing them to Athens, it will not in any circumstances be regarded as acceptance of the British ownership, the minister of Culture made clear to SKAI.
Lina Mendoni spoke of a “completely false argument” while pointing out that in the 1980s Melina Merkouri described the transportation of Parthenon Marbles to London as theft.
All Greek governments have maintained this steadfast position, which is not undermined by the prime minister’s proposal to borrow the Parthenon Marbles on the bicentennial celebration since the Greek War of Independence in 1821, she said.
Since it is a case of theft, it automatically creates no proprietary rights, the minister said. She clarified that the proposal to borrow the Parthenon Marbles submitted by Athens would set a clear framework that would secure Greek claims.
The minister also noted that, if the British Museum accepted the proposal put forward by Kyriakos Mitsotakis, it would show that London’s stance was flexible, even though to date it was “extremely negative.”
The proposal to loan the Parthenon Marbles was put forward by the Greek prime minister in an interview with the Observer published on Sunday. The British Museum replied that any requests for exchanges or loaning should not be submitted to the British Government but to the institution. However, Lina Mendoni noted that this was a firm stance of the Museum and it was no surprise to the Greek government.
Asked to answer about the outcome of the request, she said that we would see in the future as this issue is all about negotiation.