The tempestuous Boris Johnson could put an end to an old feud of several decades? The main advocate of the Brexit is against all odds a love of the cradle of the european civilization, to him who has studied classics and philosophy at Oxford. A boon to the new Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is on a campaign to retrieve the sculptures of the Parthenon, preserved in the British Museum. He said he was ready to exhibit in London of the treasures which have never left Greece, in exchange for the return of the marbles that once adorned the ancient Greek temple.
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“The Acropolis belongs not only to Greece. It is a monument of global cultural heritage. But if you really want to see the monument in its unity, it is necessary that you see the sculptures of the Parthenon in situ …”, said the Prime minister of the centre-right, elected last July. “Our wish is to create the conditions necessary for the Greek cultural heritage traveling the world, and passed, and of the essential contribution of our country to the western civilization”, he added.
France also is concerned
The frieze of the Parthenon, long 160 meters, is fragmented. Only 155 blocks, forming a set of 60 metres in total, are preserved at Athens. 80 meters were washed away in 1802 by Lord Elgin, ambassador of London with the ottoman empire. The rest is kept in various museums of Europe, and notably in the Louvre and in the Vatican.
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The British Museum has turned a deaf ear to the demands for the restitution of Greece since the 1980s. However, several recent polls show that the British would be in favour of a possible return. In 2014, a study by YouGov has revealed that only 23% of them wanted the ancient works remain in the United Kingdom, as reported by the Guardian.
Paris also had put the hand on works of the Parthenon, during the excavations of the Acropolis in 1788. At the end of August, during the visit of Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Elysée palace, France has assured to consider to return these objects against the loan of Greek bronzes ever seen at the Louvre. A position also unexpected that embarrassing to the British.