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Support for the UNESCO mediation process


An international organisation supporting the return to Greece of the British Museum’s collection of Parthenon Sculptures has urged Britain to agree to have the dispute mediated by UNESCO.
The Chairman of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, David Hill, has written to British Prime Minister David Cameron urging Britain to accept the recent offer of UNESCO to mediate the issue.
The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures has volunteer organisations in sixteen countries that support the claim for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. (see

In 2010 UNESCO introduced new mediation procedures to handle claims for the return of illicitly acquired cultural property and Greece this year asked UNESCO to initiate the mediation process for the Parthenon sculptures. The Director General of UNESCO Irini  Bokova has since written to the British Government seeking their agreement to participate in the proposed mediation.

The Parthenon Sculptures are the wonderful marble sculptures that decorated the Parthenon Temple of fifth century BC Athens. In the early 1800s, about 100 marble sculptured pieces and major fragments were stripped from the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis and taken to England by the then British Ambassador, Lord Elgin. Greece has consistently asked for the sculptures to be returned and the new Acropolis Museum in Athens has been especially built to accommodate them, alongside the other, matching sculptures that remained in Athens. Britain has rejected Greece’s claim for the collection to be returned and has refused to participate in any meaningful discussions of negotiations.

Contact: David Hill
+612 93999902
+61412 197 375


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