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
Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 17:14 GMT
Minister puts case for Marbles return
Elgin Marbles
The Elgin Marbles: At the British Museum since 1811
The Greek culture minister has said the British people want the Elgin marbles to be returned to Greece.

Evangelos Venizelos is in London to introduce Greece's first official proposal to return the marbles to their home and will meet the UK's Culture Minister Tessa Jowell.

On Monday, Professor Venizelos met with the director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, who refused to hand the marbles back to Greece.

The marbles, ancient sculptures which once adorned the Parthenon in Athens, have been held in the British Museum since 1811.

"The trustees position is that the Marbles are an integral part of the British Museum and they cannot be leant without damaging the Museum's role," MacGregor said.

"There is no question of putting it back on the Parthenon, you can't recover what's lost, so you can't actually recreate the integrity of the Parthenon as a work of art."

Acropolis

Ahead of his meeting with Ms Jowell, Professor Venizelos held a press conference in London saying he believed British people wanted the marbles returned to Greece.

Greece is proposing exhibiting the marbles in a new Acropolis gallery, so they could be seen next to their original home.

In return the British Museum would be loaned other Greek treasures on a "rolling loan basis".

"Our proposal is not just a concession because we have the official contact with the British Museum but simultaneously we have a direct contact with wider British public opinion," he said.

"Finally the decision belongs to the public opinion - this is the most important democratic principle."

Majority

He said the Greek government wanted to "co-operate with the British Museum" over the display in the new Acropolis facility.

The Acropolis Museum is currently being built and is expected to be finished in time for the Olympic Games in 2004.

Professor Venizelos says that a recent poll held by British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles suggested the majority of the British public wanted to see them return home.

But opponents say the marbles may not be stored in ideal conditions back in Greece.

One in four of the people polled said they would support the sculptures going back to Greece, but only if they were exhibited properly.

The British Museum believes it is the most suitable building in Europe for the marbles to be held in.

Professor Venizelos, however, has claimed that the only place for the sculptures to be viewed in their original context is at the Acropolis.

See also:

11 Nov 02 | Entertainment
10 Nov 02 | Entertainment
06 Nov 02 | Entertainment
01 Nov 02 | Entertainment
15 Oct 02 | Entertainment
13 Nov 02 | 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