Greece has made, Saturday, may 23rd, a new application in the United Kingdom for the return of the friezes in marble of the Parthenon, currently exposed had the British Museum in London. These friezes, representing battles mythical between the Greeks and centaurs, have been extracted on the site of the Parthenon in the early Nineteenth century by british diplomat Lord Elgin. London has always proclaimed that this "removal" was carried out with the permission of the ottoman authorities who ruled Greece at the time.
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"The reopening of archaeological sites [...] is the occasion for the international committees, supporting the restitution of the marbles of the Parthenon to reaffirm their incessant demand and that of the Greek government a final return of the marbles to their homeland," writes Saturday, the Greek minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, in a press release. The marbles have been the subject of a" looting "and Greece will never recognize the property of the British Museum on the friezes," says Lina Medoni.
Mediation of Unesco
After two months of closure due to the outbreak of new coronavirus, Greece has re-opened on 18 may, under strict conditions of hygiene, the Acropolis of Athens, one of the ancient sites the most visited in the world, which is home to the world-famous Parthenon. The international Association for the reunification of the sculptures of the Parthenon has sent the 21 may, world Day of the culture, a letter to the Greek ministry of Culture, offering to renew a pressure coordinated at the British Museum.
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Greece has been campaigning for several decades for the restitution of the marbles, and at one time envisaged to continue London before the justice. But in recent years, Athens has opted for the diplomatic track, proposing a mediation of Unesco, the UN organization responsible for culture and education, an offer rejected by the British Museum. Elected in July 2019, the First minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has formally requested that these friezes are lent to Athens for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Greek independence in 2021.