Business news from Ukraine

Greece insists on return of Parthenon sculptures from UK

Greek Foreign Minister Yorgos Gerapetritis said on Wednesday that the return of the Parthenon sculptures by the United Kingdom is a matter of justice and ecumenical cultural values, EFE news agency reports.

“I have to say that the return of the Parthenon sculptures is a demand based not only on history, not only on justice, but also on the principles of preserving cultural values,” Gerapetritis said upon arrival at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

The issue of Greek sculptures stored in the UK has recently caused a sharp deterioration in relations between Athens and London.

The day before, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak canceled a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was visiting London. The Guardian, citing sources, reports that “the meeting became impossible” after Mitsotakis called for the sculptures to be returned to Athens.

“I would like to express my irritation that the British Prime Minister canceled our planned meeting a few hours before it was to take place,” Mitsotakis said.

On Sunday, Mitsotakis gave an interview to the BBC, in which he reiterated his long-standing call for the return of ancient cultural monuments from the Parthenon to Greece, which are currently in the British Museum.

Sunak has repeatedly emphasized that he would not support a change in the law adopted in 1963, which prohibits the British Museum from “parting” with exhibits from its collection.

For many years now, Greece has been demanding that London return dozens of marble sculptures from the Parthenon, which were taken out of Greece in the early 19th century by British diplomat Lord Elgin when it was part of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1816, the British Museum acquired the ancient Greek art.

, , ,