US Lawmakers Demand That The UK Returns The Elgin Marbles To Greece A Demand Rejected By Boris Johnson

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US Lawmakers Demand That The UK Returns The Elgin Marbles To Greece A Demand Rejected By Boris Johnson

Photo: Part of Parthenon's East Pediment sculptures currently held at the British Museum

US lawmakers have introduced a resolution demanding that the United Kingdom returns the Elgin Marbles to Greece. The Elgin Marbles are a collection of marble sculptures that formed part of the Parthenon, which were stolen by Lord Elgin, a British archaeologist, at the start of the 19th century.

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, and Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, introduced the bill as Greece looks to mark the 200th anniversary of its independence in 2021.

Congresswoman Maloney said of the resolution:

"As we celebrate the bicentennial of Greek Independence from the Ottoman Empire this year, we cannot forget that Greece continues its fight to have the Parthenon Marbles – some of the country's greatest examples of artistic expression and beauty – returned to their rightful home. The Parthenon Marbles are vital pieces of Greece's history and the people of Greece and those who visit from all around the world to see the magnificence of the Acropolis should be able to enjoy the Marbles in their rightful home. This bipartisan resolution calls on the United Kingdom to finally return these treasures."

While Rep. Bilirakis added:

"The Parthenon Marbles were made by the citizens of Athens under the direction of renowned artist Phidias to celebrate the pride and majesty of the City of Athens. To not house and view these citizen contributions in the city they were originally intended does a disservice not only to the people of Athens, but also to the civilization that paved the path for modern democracy and freedom. I sincerely hope to see these original works and other important elements of Hellenic history finally returned to their rightful owner for future generations of proud Greeks to enjoy."

The United Kingdom government has continually refused to return the marbles saying that they were legally acquired and should stay in Britain. Last week UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Greek newspaper, Ta Nea, that he had no intention of returning the marbles. He said:

"The British government has a firm and long-standing position on the sculptures: they were legally acquired by Lord Elgin, in accordance with the laws in force at the time. The rightful owners are the commissioners of the British Museum since they came into their possession."

The Greek Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, responded to Johnson's statement, saying:

"It is clear that he has not been properly informed by the competent state services of his country of the new historical data regarding Greece's occupation by the Ottomans. The Ministry of Culture and Sports can provide the necessary documentary evidence that can inform the British people that the British Museum possesses the Sculptures illegally."

[h/t: Greek Reporter]

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Thinking Humanity: US Lawmakers Demand That The UK Returns The Elgin Marbles To Greece A Demand Rejected By Boris Johnson
US Lawmakers Demand That The UK Returns The Elgin Marbles To Greece A Demand Rejected By Boris Johnson
US lawmakers have introduced a resolution demanding that the United Kingdom returns the Elgin Marbles to Greece. The Elgin Marbles are a collection of
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