Athena is ready to
from Luigi Ippolito

Johnson Rebounds: The British Museum decides

from our reporter
LONDON – The Most Valuable Treasures Announcement Has Been Preserved Athena Against the Parthenon Marble: This is what the Greek government has come to do to recover the statues stolen from the Acropolis at the beginning of the nineteenth century by Lord Elgin and which are now on display in the British Museum in London.

The idea of ​​a barter emerged on the sidelines of the meeting, Tuesday, between Boris Johnson and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.. Athena would be willing to grant, with a long-term loan, even the legendary mask of Agamemnon, the centerpiece of the Mycenaean treasure, as well as the Chronicle of Cape Artemisius, one of the few surviving bronze statues of the Classical era, representing Zeus or Poseidon: all the masterpieces housed in the Archaeological Museum of the Greek capital.

This is the final attempt to achieve Recreating the Parthenon MarbleAnd Which the Greeks have been demanding for decades. The statues that adorned the dome and the frieze of the temple on the Acropolis were taken by Lord Elgin, the British ambassador two centuries before the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Greece at the time: London has always maintained that it was a legal purchase, but Athena, Mitsotakis has thus far asserted, believes that it “stolen” and that there are no original documents to support the British allegations.

The strange thing is that Johnson had dealt with this issue since his student years at Oxford. As president of the Oxford Union, the famous university’s student debate society, Boris staged a showdown called “The Marbles Must Be Returned to Athens,” in which actress Melina Mercouri, then Greek Minister of Culture, was invited to participate: If then Johnson himself wrote an article for the university’s magazine where he claimed the opposite. completely.

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«I think the approach under which marbles belong to the British Museum is somewhat outdatedHe claimed Mitsotakis on British television, saying he was ready to “present objects and treasures of the British Museum that never left Greece”, as long as the Parthenon statues return to the Acropolis “forever”. The Greek Prime Minister clarified that “our request does not come like a thunderbolt out of the blue. We will continue to pursue our reasons with the British public for the reunification of the marbles at the Acropolis Museum: we will do everything to achieve the goal.”

But Johnson in Tuesday’s meeting rejected his Greek colleague’s requests for a rubber wall: While acknowledging “the strength of the sentiments of the Greek people”, Downing Street’s position is that it is not the responsibility of the British government, but the British Museum itself to be decided.

They have always maintained in London that the Parthenon statues were in a state of complete abandonment in the nineteenth century and They were basically saved from destruction by Lord Elgin: While they are now displayed in the British Museum instead of in Athens makes it accessible to a much wider audience.

But the Greek demand is now part of the broader campaign to return stolen treasures to the countries of origin in the colonial era: it is a movement that draws its strength from critical reinterpretations of Western history, and one that is very powerful in Anglo-Saxon countries. Many governments agreed, for example, to return the Benin Bronze, It is among the greatest examples of African art which was looted by the British at the end of the nineteenth century and then spread to various museums: but even in this case the British Museum has hitherto been outspokenly opposed.

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Nov 17, 2021 (change on Nov 17, 2021 | 22:01)


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