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Culture Minister responds to British Museum director’s comments

Featured Culture Minister responds to British Museum director’s comments

Following the provocative comments by British Museum director Hartwig Fischer ruling out the return of the Parthenon Marbles after the Greek government demanded open negotiations on the issue, Greece’s Culture and Sports Minister Myrsini Zorba has come back with a response.

Ms Zorba underlined that the Parthenon Marbles “were born in Greece hence their natural place is the Acropolis Museum in Athens”, Athens News Agency reported.

In her most recent statement to the newspaper Ta Nea on the weekend, the Greek MP argued that the director’s remarks about the British Museum being the “legitimate owner” after the marbles were sold to the British government by Lord Elgin, “exhibit a narrow and cynical managerial mindset”.

“It is regrettable to hear this by the director of the British Museum and a well-known art historian. His remarks downgrade cultural heritage from an invaluable universal value to a mere exchange sale. Such views are diametrically opposed to the prevailing perceptions in the international field of culture. They are remnants of colonialism and ignore the international debate and UNESCO declarations, all the more when they involve a mutilated monument, a timeless symbol of Greece, which deserves to be reunified and restored according to the basic principle of ‘integrity’, as required by the 1972 UNESCO Convention,” Ms Zorba concluded.