Talks recently took place between Theresa May, Prime Minister of Great Britain, and Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece. After these negotiations, the representative of Greece immediately spoke to reporters, telling them that during the negotiations some demand had been put forward. According to it, Great Britain must return to Greece sculptures made of marble, which at the beginning of the 19th century were illegally taken out of the Acropolis in Athens.
During his conversation with journalists, Tsipras noted that marble sculptures are in fact a world cultural heritage, but they should be located in the place of their creation.
The statues are called Elgin marble and they have been repeatedly tried to return to their homeland, as they are an integral part of the Greek national heritage. For 200 years, Greece has been appealing to the UK, but the request for the return of the marble remains unfulfilled. At the international level, this issue was first raised relatively recently - in 1982. With particular force, the Greeks began to insist on returning the statues to their homeland since 2009, when the modern Acropolis Museum was opened, where the total area of the premises is 20 thousand square meters.
UNESCO, legal professionals and the international community joined the action to return Elgin's porcelain to Greece in 2014. They insist that the removal of the statues was carried out illegally, and therefore the British Museum is obliged to return them back to Greece. Only in Great Britain they are showing increased resistance, they do not want to reach an agreement peacefully with Greece.
Alexis Tsipras notes that Greece is well aware of the position of Great Britain and we do not want to return the sculptures. But Athens does not want to stop and will look for new supporters until they achieve the return of the marble.
Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, was involved in the export of ancient Greek art in 1802-1812. He received permission to export statues from the Acropolis from the Turks, who were the rulers of Hellas in the 19th century. In the first year alone, this lord removed 12 sculptures and various fragments of the Parthenon temple - a monument of ancient architecture. In total, about half of all Parthenon decorations made of marble were exported to Britain. Now they are in the British Museum, and each visitor can admire them for free.
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