BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Euro call for Marbles return
The Elgin Marbles in the British Museum, London
The British Museum says it will not return the sculptures
New international pressure was placed on the UK Government to hand the historic Elgin Marbles back to Greece during a conference in Brussels.

The government was urged to use the gesture to show Europe that the UK was forward-looking and committed to its neighbours.

The Parthenon, Athens
The sculptures were once part of the Parthenon
A Liberal Democrat MP has launched a campaign to return the artefacts, which come from the Parthenon in Athens, in time for the Athens Olympics in 2004.

They are currently on show in the British Museum - which has insisted that they will not be given back.

Richard Allan, a Liberal Democrat MP and former archaeologist, told the conference: "The Olympic Games will provide the perfect opportunity for the UK to make an historic but also forward-looking gesture.

"It will show Britain is firmly committed to being a part of Europe and appreciates the interests of her fellow European countries."

Richard Allan
Richard Allan MP is keen for the Marbles to go back to Greece
Greek culture minister Evangelos Venizelos is also expected to open a photographic exhibition of the Parthenon sculptures at the European Parliament on Wednesday.

The marble friezes were taken from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin in 1799, and bought by the British Museum 17 years later.

The museum said it is the rightful owner and that Lord Elgin "saved" them from destruction when he removed them.

Nick Clegg, a Liberal Democrat MEP, was chairing the conference and said: "It is high time the Marbles were restored to their proper setting."

The Elgin Marbles in the British Museum, London
Bill Clinton and Vladimir Putin have both supported the return
"The current situation is a bit like displaying the clock from Big Ben in the Louvre in Paris - Brits wouldn't tolerate it, and neither should we expect the Greek Government to remain silent."

He said the issue was unique, and would not set a precedent for returning other historical artefacts.

The conference backs up a call by other UK politicians and actors, including Tony Banks, Michael Foot and Vanessa Redgrave, to hand the sculptures back.

Greece is building a new 29m Acropolis museum in which it hopes to house the friezes.

Former US President Bill Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among the international politicians who have previously said they support the return, Mr Allan has said.

Known in Greece as the Parthenon sculptures, they date from between 447 and 432 BC and depict the most formal religious ceremonies of ancient Athens.

See also:

13 Mar 02 | Entertainment
17 Jan 02 | Entertainment
15 Jan 02 | Entertainment
13 Nov 01 | Entertainment
01 Nov 01 | Entertainment
26 Oct 01 | Entertainment
22 Jun 01 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes