The British Museum

Formal talks planned over Parthenon Marbles, but forty years on will anything be resolved?

The repatriation of the ‘Elgin Marbles’ in the British Museum back to the Acropolis in Athens has been the subject of official debate for nearly forty years, since Greece first put in a request for the objects to be returned in 1983. Now, only a year after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson firmly reiterated that they would not be returned, UNESCO has announced that both the U.K. and Greece have agreed to hold formal talks about the status of the marbles.

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UK rejects Greece’s appeal to negotiate the return of the ever-controversial Elgin marbles

At the end of last month the British Museum and the UK Government formally declined UNESCO’s request to enter into mediation on the subject of transferring the Parthenon marbles back to Greece. Removed by Lord Elgin from the Parthenon temple in Athens in the 1800s, the marbles were sold to the British Museum in 1816 and have remained there ever since. The sculptures date from 447-432 BC, and are divided between London and a purpose built museum in Athens.  Continue reading