Press Release

Press releases made by the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures

American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures

April 15, 2007


For immediate release
POC: Dennis Menos
(301) 656-6996

On April 14, the newly established “American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures,” hosted its inaugural event in Washington D.C. with a highly successful presentation by its President Michael J. Reppas of Miami Lakes FL. The presentation, entitled the “Looting of the Parthenon: Why the Parthenon Sculptures Now In London Must be Returned to Athens,”  was offered in the elegant new Frosene Education Center of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, in Washington DC.
Using unique slides to illustrate his comments, Mr Reppas reviewed first the historical events that led to Lord Elgin committing what is undoubtedly the largest art theft of all times, including the fraud, bribery, and permit of questionable validity that he used to devour the Parthenon of its best preserved art. He  emphasized the importance of the Parthenon as one of mankind’s greatest cultural symbols and artistic wonders, that should not be allowed to remain disfigured and mutilated. Mr Reppas explained the rationale for returning to Athens (in the New Acropolis Museum) the Parthenon sculptures now in the British Museum, and methodically rebutted the arguments used by the British Museum for its continued retention of the sculptures. The British Museum’s ownership claim to the sculptures is without any legal basis, emphasized Mr. Reppas. He concluded by inviting Americans to become engaged in this worthwhile effort – “it is time,” he said, “for the voice of America to be heard alongside all other nations of the world who support the goal of the reunification of the Parthenon sculptures.”

An audience in excess of 170 attended the event. Present were the Honorable Karolos Gadis of the Embassy of Greece; professors and academics from various Universities of the Washington area and of the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University; representatives of the “Prometheas” Cultural Society and of the “Society for the Preservation of Greek Heritage” that cosponsored the event; representatives of the White House Historical Association; as well as numerous leading members of Washington’s Greek-American community.  

The Committee plans to take its public education message to other US cities over the next few months.

Declaration on the Parthenon Sculptures

Below follows a declaration which represents the shared aims of the member organisations of the International Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.



The sculptures currently in the British Museum were once an integral part of the Parthenon, the temple that stands at the summit of the Acropolis in Athens. Built at the high point of classical Greek achievement in the 5th century BC, the Parthenon remains an unparalleled achievement in the fusion of engineering, architecture and art. The temple’s magnificent marble statues, metopes and frieze, which are not independent works of art but indivisible elements of the Parthenon, are widely regarded as among the world’s finest surviving ancient art works. The Parthenon and the other monuments on the Acropolis are officially recognized as a World Heritage Site.

Over 100 pieces of the sculpture and some architectural elements, which are critical to the full appreciation of the beauty and design of the monument, were removed by the British Ambassador Lord Elgin in the early 19th century from the Acropolis when Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire and moved into the British Museum in 1816. They are exhibited in London in a spurious configuration, divorced from their architectural framework and proper context.

The continued insistence by the British Museum that the sculptures remain in London runs wholly counter to the fast growing atmosphere of international cooperation over the location of disputed museum objects. Reuniting them with the half of the sculptures that remain in Athens would restore to the art its fuller meaning and be of greater benefit to humanity, particularly since more people now visit the Acropolis in Athens than visit the Duveen Gallery of the British Museum. The retention of the sculptures in the British Museum is also at odds with British and world public opinion, which has overwhelmingly supported the reunification of the surviving Parthenon sculptures in Athens.

The Parthenon sculptures are of undeniable importance to the heritage of both Greece and the world at large. The potential now exists for Britain and Greece to reach agreement on the reunification of the sculptures beside the Acropolis - a development that would be of benefit for the people of both countries and indeed all nations not only for today but also for generations to come. The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures calls on the British Government and the Greek Government to initiate government to government negotiations to achieve early reunification in the new Acropolis Museum of the Parthenon sculptures now in London and Athens.

* The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures is an organization of 12 national committees from Australia, Belgium, Britain, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Spain, Sweden and the USA that are committed to the return of the Parthenon sculptures to Athens.

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