Official response to loan of Parthenon Sculpture to Russia

STATEMENT FROM CHAIR OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE REUNIFICATION OF THE PARTHENON SCULPTURES
05 December 2014

The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures* today criticized the British Museum’s  decision to send a major sculpture from the Parthenon as a loan to Russia.

The Chairman of the International Association said the loan was an offence not only to the Greek people but to the entire international community.

In July 2013 UNESCO invited Britain to agree to mediation of the long running Greek claim for the sculptures that were taken by Lord Elgin from 1801 to be returned to Athens. Mr. Hill said that it has been almost 18 months since Britain was asked but they have not even given UNESCO the courtesy of a reply.

The British Museum is also ‘out of step’ with widespread UK public and professional opinion on the question of returning the sculptures to Greece. Opinion polls in the UK for the past fifteen years have consistently shown an overwhelming majority of people believe the British Museum should give the sculptures back.

Mr Hill said that supporters of the return of the Parthenon Sculptures throughout the UK and around the world would not rest until the sculptures are returned.

‘it is not often we can put right one of history’s great wrong. But in the case of the return of the sculptures stripped from Parthenon by Lord Elgin and shipped to England, we have that opportunity’, he said.

*The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures represents volunteer committees in 16 countries that support the return of the Parthenon sculptures held in the British Museum to be reunited with the other Parthenon sculptures held in Athens. See www.parthenoninternational.org

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