International Association

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.

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.

Student protest outside the British Msueum

Matthew Taylor, Treasurer of the International Association and a member of the Marbles Reuited Campaign, attennded a student organised protest in London on behalf of the International Association.

You can also watch a video of the protest here.

 

PRESS RELEASE

The slogan “Bring them Back” echoed all over the British Museum!

London, 25 October 2010

The afternoon of Saturday October 23rd outside the British Museum, was strikingly different to any other. The flashes of the visitors were immortalising not any of the Museums’ stolen exhibits, but rather, the demonstrators standing in the front yard of the Museum, who wearing black t-shirts, holding banners and placards, were conveying the demand of the Hellenes anywhere in the world: “Bring Them Back”.

The demonstration for the return and restoration of the Parthenon Sculptures, organised by the ‘METOPO Cypriot Student Movement UK’ and the non-governmental organisation ‘Artclick’, under the campaign “Bring Them Back”, was an ultimate absolute success, as the people embraced it and dynamically became part of it.

The visitors of the Museum, informed as they were by the students of METOPO who were distributing leaflets regarding the Parthenon sculptures and the “Bring Them Back” campaign outside the Museum, were now facing, along with the demonstrators, reality: the Hellenic civilisation is the Hellenic Pride and the protests of the Hellenes for their stolen dignity are completely just.

The President of METOPO, Marios Nicolaou, delivered a resolution to the competent authorities of the Museum, demanding the return of the Parthenon sculptures to Greece, as well as analyzing and crushing their cheap and untrue arguments regarding the so-called protection of the marbles. Of course, the sculptures were not returned. However, we are under no circumstance willing to stop here. The demonstration that took place last Saturday was only the beginning. We understand that our struggle for the reinstatement of the Parthenon Sculptures will be long and difficult, but we feel that it is our duty to be part of this campaign, for as long as these Hellenic cultural treasures is held unlawfully in the country where our movement is based.

From now on, the restoration and return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece has become an aim and purpose to us. We reserve and promise, that each and every time, the British authorities will hear an even louder “Bring Them Back”, from the autonomous students of METOPO. This campaign will be over and we will complacent, only when we are able to flaunt the sculptures, reunited after almost 200 years, inside the new Acropolis Museum.

Press Office

METOPO Cypriot Student Movement UK

press@metopo.org.uk

www.metopo.org.uk

Read the original article here.

The Elginism website is 5 years old

The Elginism website was set up in 2005 by the International Association's current treasurer, Matthew Taylor, with the aim of ccollating as many current articles relating to the Parthenon Sculptures & the campaign for their reunification in one single location.

This week, the website celebrates its fifth birthday. It now holds over 1500 articles about the issue, along with other related restitution cases.

You can read more about this story here.

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