Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview with Observer newspaper that he called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens for 2021, the bicentennial celebration of Greek War of Independence.
The prime minister proposed “as a first move” for the definitive return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece that they should be exhibited for a certain period in Athens on the 2021 celebrations. “The timing is excellent,” he said. At the same time, Kyriakos Mitsotakis proposed to organize an exhibition at the British Museum with some important artefacts that have never been shown abroad before. A similar proposal has been put forward by the Greek prime minister in Paris last week and President of France Emmanuel Macron responded with unexpected enthusiasm to the suggestion.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis clarified that the demand for the return of the sculptures remained in place. The Greek PM also stated that it was “a losing battle” if the Britons insist on not returning the marbles. “Our demand for the return of the sculptures remains in place. I don’t think they should be fighting a losing battle. Eventually, this is going to be a losing battle. At the end of the day there is going to be mounting pressure on this issue,” the prime minister said.
“But if you really want to see the monument in its unity you have to see what we call the Parthenon sculptures in situ. It’s a question of uniting the monument.”
The Observer cited a YouGov poll conducted in 2014 and revealed that only 23% wanted the marbles to remain in the UK.