The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures is an association of various national committees with the shared goal of "The reunification of all the surviving Parthenon Sculptures in the New Acropolis Museum in Athens"
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The reunification of the Parthenon Marbles – a European concern

The Swiss Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures are organising a round table discussion taking place at the European Parliament in Brussels.

MEP Rodi Kratsa, Vice-President of the European Parliament 2007-2012, and Professor Dusan Sidjanski, Chairman of the Swiss Committee, have the pleasure to invite you to the Round Table


under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture of the Hellenic Republic

Tuesday, 15th OCTOBER 2013, 14.00 – 16.00

European Parliament

Room P4B001 (PHS)

(Please click on the name of the speakers for further information (CV and abstract)).

Chair | Krister Kumlin
Former Ambassador and Chairman of the Swedish Parthenon Committee

Introduction | Rodi Kratsa
MEP and former Vice-President of the European Parliament

Address | Panos Panagiotopoulos

Minister of Culture of the Hellenic Republic

Brief presentation of the Parthenon Marbles issue (video)


Tom Flynn
Art historian and writer

Miguel Ángel Martínez Martínez
Vice-President of the European Parliament and of the Board of Trustees of the House of European History

Louis Godart
Advisor for the Conservation of Artistic Heritage to the Italian President

Bernard Tschumi (video presentation)
Architect of the Acropolis Museum

Henry Porter
Journalist and author

Jo Leinen
MEP and Chairman of the European Movement International

Maurice Davies
Museum advisor and commentator

Conclusion | Prof. Dusan Sidjanski

Chairman of the Swiss Committee for the Return of the Parthenon Marbles

Languages: English, French and Greek

For more information, or to read this invite in other languages, visit their website here.

Culture Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos addresses the IARPS

Member organisations from the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures met in Athens yesterday.

During the course of the meeting, Panos Panagiotopoulos, the Greek Culture Minister addressed us, with his thoughts on the issue.

He emphasised the requests for the return of the marbles do not stem from Greek nationalism: “This is not an effort that starts from nationalism, this is not an effort to reinforce the ego of a European Nation. This is an effort that is deeply universal, to restore the unity of a cultural monument for all humanity.”

He elaborated on this, to explain that he feels that Greeks realise that their culture belongs to all humanity, and that they see their culture, as their passport for outreach to the rest of the world.

He then went on to inform the committees about the planned use of the UNESCO mediation process, to try and move the issue forward:

He has spoken to Irina Bokova, the current Director General of UNESCO, at a meeting in Paris in the summer. During the meeting, they discussed the case of the Marbles, and he requested that she could initiate the mediation process between Greece and the UK.

He also added that this is a legal process, but more importantly that this is the first case to which this process will have been applied.

A letter has now been sent (from UNESCO) to the following people in the UK, informing them that the UNESCO procedure is being initiated:
William Haig, the British Secretary of State for foreign affairs.
Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum.

Finally, he touched on the fact that he is aware that the UNESCO mediation process is far from the only possible strategy. He noted that, “In an ideal world, there would not be these kinds of differences. However, I acknowledge that each one of you contributes to this cause with your spirit, your soul & your hearts. So this situation is only natural. I honour all your different views & would like to thank all of your for any proposals that you have made.”

However, he pointed out, that at this point in time, the decision to take the UNESCO mediation route has been made. It was underlined that this is an important step forward from Greece, so as a result, we should not let the opportunity slip away, or distract from the main focus of it.

He ended by thanking the supporters of reunification who had attended the meeting, commenting that he felt as though they were “like family” to Greece.

David Hill, the chair of the IARPS thanked the minister for his comments, and underlined the fact that the International Association will back Greece one hundred percent in their current endeavours. 

Delegates from the other committees also added their words of support, noting that it was good to see that Greece was taking such an important step forward and that it is a very positive step that there is finally a clear direction to the route that their reunification efforts are taking.


General meeting of International Association members in Athens on 6th October

The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures is holding a general meeting for representatives of all its member organisations.

The meeting will take place in Athens on 6th October 2013.

Items on the agenda for discussion will include:

  • Developments that have taken place since the previous General Meeting.
  • The Greek government's new intiative using UNESCO for mediation in the dispute.
  • Other possible approaches to the issue that should also be explored.

Greek government proposes mediation through UNESCO as a solution to Parthenon Marbles issue

The Greek Government has made an important step forward, by taking the decision to initiate the UNESCO mediation process to try and find an equitable solution to the Parthenon Marbles issue.


UNESCO Mediates Parthenon Marbles Fight
By Maria Korologou on October 3, 2013

On October 6 in Athens the International Conference of committees will be held, which is a very important moment for the effort to return the Parthenon Marbles.

After the meeting of the Greek Minister of Culture and Sports with the Director-General of UNESCO in July 2013 in Paris, during which Panos Panagiotopoulos asked from Irina Bokova to exercise her personal and institutional influence in order for the mediation process with the British side to be initiated, the leading international organization for culture addressed a letter to the British Foreign Secretary William Hague, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller and the Director of the British Museum Robert Neil MacGregor.

With this letter the British officials are officially informed of Greece’s demand to go on with the mediation process in order to achieve a settlement of the dispute on the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles.

If the British side agrees to carry out this process, it will be the first time that UNESCO will have taken action to solve a cultural dispute between two states.

Read the original article here.

Chair of International Association meets with new Greek Culture Minister

The chair of the International Association, along with other representatives has met for the first time with the recently appointed new Greek Culture Minister.


Cooperation for Return of Parthenon Marbles
By Maria Korologou on September 24, 2013

The return of the Parthenon Marbles was at the center of the meeting that the Minister of Culture and Sports Panos Panagiotopoulos held on Sept. 24 with the Delegate to the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, David Hill.

Two months ago the minister visited Paris and attended a meeting with the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, during which he reiterated the demand for the return of the Parthenon Marbles which are now exhibited at the British Museum.

After Panagiotopoulos’ proposal, Bokova agreed to exercise her personal and institutional influence and take an initiative so that the institution will be an intermediary to this purpose.

The issue of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece returned to the news after the Sept. 24 meeting of the Greek Culture Minister with Hill.

Panagiotopoulos discussed with Hill the necessity of a common strategy with the International Association, the Committees and other international bodies who focus on civilization.

The Delegate to the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures is in Athens for the International Meeting of the Commissioners’ Meeting of October 6. The Greek Minister of Culture and Sports will again meet with Hill on Oct. 6 as he will also be present at the meeting to underline the importance of the Parthenon Marbles returning to Greece.

Read the original article here.