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.

International Museums day at the New Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum is celebrating International Museums Day, with free admission & a series of special events.


Friday May 17, 2013
Celebrating International Museum Day around Greece

Museums around the country celebrate their past, present and future this weekend as a number of local cultural institutions take part in festivities marking this year’s International Museum Day.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day back in 1977 in an effort to raise public awareness with regard to the key role played by cultural organizations in societies. The annual celebration usually takes place around May 18.

According to an ICOM estimate, 32,000 museums in 129 countries took part in last year’s festivities. This year participating institutions will be exploring the theme of “Museums (Memory + Creativity) = Social Change,” tracing the evolution of institutions as they combine their rich heritage with innovation.

In Athens, the Acropolis Museum ( celebrates International Museum Day on Saturday, May 18, with the museum’s doors opening at 8 a.m. until midnight and free admission for all. On the day, archaeologists will acquaint visitors with the fighting cock, the competitive ideal for athletes and fighters in ancient times and the motif behind the museum’s 2013 commemorative medal. During the tours conducted by the archaeologists, visitors will learn more about how as early as the beginning of the 5th century BC, “alektryonon agones” (cockfights) took place annually at the Theater of Dionysus. The 20-minute tours are limited to 25 visitors per session and will take place on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in participating are invited to visit the museum’s information desk. Talks are scheduled to take place in Greek at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. noon, 1 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. They will be in English at 10.30 a.m., 12.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. A French tour has been scheduled for 4 p.m. Festivities will conclude in the museum’s entance courtyard with the Orchestra of the Center of Arts and Culture of Dion performing Greek and foreign works starting at 9 p.m.

In the northern port of Thessaloniki, the city’s archaeological museum ( is hosting an opera evening on Friday, May 17, followed by a series of guided tours of its temporary exhibition “Trafficking of Antiquities: Stop It,” on May 18 and 19. Events marking International Museum Day are also taking place at the city’s State Museum of Contemporary Art ( and the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art (

At the Benaki Museum (, International Museum Day will be celebrated from May 17 to May 19. On Friday, May 17, the museum pays tribute to the Crete University Press, as part of a series of events highlighting the efforts carried out by organizations promoting culture outside major urban centers. The event will feature talks by National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation president Dionysis Kapsalis and Benaki Museum director Angelos Delivorrias, among others.

Inspired by International Museum Day’s 2013 theme, the Benaki Museum celebrates 35 years of creativity at the institution’s shop and invites visitors on a behind-the-scenes journey tracing design from antiquity to the present on Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19. The tribute includes a series of workshops complemented by an exhibition which runs to July 28.

Lectures, guided tours, live music and free admission (until 11.30 p.m.) are on the agenda at the Archaeological Museum of Delphi on Saturday, May 18. The institution was selected by the Hellenic Committee of the International Council of Museums as this year’s honored museum. Museum-goers are also invited to join a guided tour of the area’s celebrated archaeological site on Sunday, May 19, starting at 9.30 a.m.

At the Byzantine & Christian Museum ( archaeologists will conduct a series of guided tours of the cultural institution’s permanent collections on Saturday, May 18. The tours will explore various themes, including “Asia Minor: The Heart of Byzantium” and “Mosaics: From Excavation to the Museum,” among others. Guided tours take place from 6 to 7 p.m. and from 7.30 to 8.30 p.m. The museum is also organizing a series of educational activities on Sunday, May 19. Participation is free for children on Sunday. (Reservations can be made by calling 213.213.059 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.7 on Friday)

The National Archaeological Museum ( is organizing a string of educational activities related to a contemporary mosaic exhibition featuring works by Dafni Angelidou, while the City of Athens Symphony Orchestra will perform on the museum’s premises on May 18.

At the B&M Theocharakis Foundation ( doors will remain open to the public from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, May 18. The evening’s cultural program includes two treasure hunts for children, at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., Buenos Aires tango tunes in the foundation’s outdoor space at 8.30 p.m., as well as a screening of Luis Garcia Berlanga’s 1953 comedy “Bienvenido Mr Marshall” at 8 p.m.

Read the original article here.

Returning the lost marbles

A lecture is being given in Athens on the subject of "Returning the lost Marbles", looking at issues surrounding antiquities restitution & the law.


Lecture “Returning Lost Marbles’, by Ira Kaliampetsos

The Athens Centre would like to invite you to a guest lecture,
by Ira Kaliampetsos
Director of the Hellenic Society for Law and Archaeology

“Returning Lost Marbles:
Antiquities Restitution and the Law”

Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at 7:00pm

At The Athens Centre

Archimidous 48, Pangrati (Mets)

Wine and conversation follows the event. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 210-7015242 or 210-7012268.

Ira Kaliampetsos works as a lawyer in Athens. She earned her law degree from the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany and continued her postgraduate studies on ‘Art and Law’ at the Karl-Franzens-University in Graz, Austria. Her professional experience includes working for the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (a position she still holds), the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey and several assignments for election observation. In 2006 she co-founded the Hellenic Society for Law and Archaeology (, a non- profit organization dealing with all aspects of antiquities law – a field in which her law office specializes in. She is also a founding member of the Hellenic Wildlife Care Association, ANIMA (

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New European legislation in Europe may help recovery of illegally looted treasures

New legislation may ease the recovery of looted cultural treasures within Europe (although without seeing more details, it is hard to assess its exact impact).


New legislation to facilitate recovery of illegally removed national treasures
Article | February 19, 2013 – 1:52pm | By Elena Ralli

The European Commission is planning to help Member States recover national treasures which have been unlawfully removed from their territory by amending its current legislation that has several inadequacies. Consequently, the European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani proposed today to strengthen the possibility for restitution available to Member States.

As Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship stated: “Safeguarding the cultural heritage of all Member States is of major importance to the European Union. Our proposal is therefore necessary to further strengthen the effectiveness of the fight against illegal trafficking in cultural goods. The harmful effect on our national treasures represent a serious threat to the preservation of the origins and history of our civilization.”

The proposed changes would apply to cultural goods classified as “national treasures” unlawfully removed after 1993 that are now located on the territory of another Member State.

The suggestions regarding the amendment of the legislation include extending the scope of the definition of cultural goods, extending the deadline for initiating return proceedings in the courts of the country where the property is now located, using the internal market information system to facilitate administrative cooperation and information exchanges between national authorities and finally, asking any possessor of an object requiring compensation for returning the object to prove it was not knowingly acquired illegally.

Illegal trafficking of cultural goods covers a wide range of activities from the unlawful removal of cultural property without compulsory permission, to trade in stolen goods.

Read the original article here.

Greece announces new committee to advise on Parthenon Marbles issue

The Greek government has anounced the formation of a new committee within Greece to advise on the issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles


Last Updated Thursday, 20 September 2012
New committee established to press for return of Parthenon Marbles

The culture ministry on Wednesday announced that it will re-establish a special advisory committee to coordinate actions aimed at securing the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles.

The president of the Melina Mercouri Foundation, Christoforos Argyropoulos, archaeologist Eleni Korka, attorney Irini Stamatoudi, who heads the Intellectual Property Organisation, and foreign ministry representative Panos Kalogeropoulos were listed as members of the committee, announced by Alternate Culture Minister Costas Tzavaras.

"Greece's moral right is above every objection that is based on arguments aired as mere delay tactics, and aiming to brush aside the basic principle that is universally applied, namely, the necessity of cultural monuments to be repatriated, meaning a return to the place of their origin," Tzavaras said.


Read the original article here.

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