George Osborne holds secret negotiations with Greece about Elgin Marbles

George Osborne, the president of the British Museum, was in secret talks with the Greek prime minister about the possibility of returning the Elgin marbles.

Negotiations between the former prime minister and Kyriakos Mitsotakis have been taking place in London since November 2021, according to the Greek daily Ta Nea.

The museum has vowed not to “dismantle our great collection” after the newspaper quoted “insiders” as saying negotiations were at an “advanced stage”.

But they say they are looking for a “new” and “positive” partnership on the sculptures – 17 figures and part of a relief that decorates the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple in the Acropolis. – which Mr. Mitsotakis wants to return to Athens.


Inside view of the British Museum in Bloomsbury, London (PA)

The marbles were obtained by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century when he was British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and have been the subject of a lengthy controversy over where they should be displayed.

The Greek prime minister has repeatedly called for the sculptures to be transferred, even offering to lend other treasures to the British Museum in exchange.

A spokesman for Project Parthenon, a campaign advocating for the return of marbles, hailed the talks as a “positive sign” of a “win-win solution” to the dispute. centuries-long argument is possible.

It comes after Mr Osborne said there had been a “done deal” to share the Parthenon Marbles with Greece.

A spokesman for the British Museum said: “The British Museum has publicly called for a new Parthenon partnership with Greece and we will speak to anyone, including the Greek government, on how to promote that. .

“As the chairman of the board said last month, we operate by the law and we are not going to dismantle our amazing collection because it tells a unique story about our common humanity. But we are looking for new positive, long-term partnerships with countries and communities around the world, and of course that includes Greece.”

A spokesperson for the Parthenon Project said: “With widespread support for unification between the Greek and British publics, and ongoing constructive dialogue based on mutual trust, there is a solution. for this long-standing problem is finally within reach.

“We were debating an agreement that would benefit both Greece and the UK, focusing on the cultural partnership between the two countries. This will see the British Museum continue its role as the ‘museum of the world’ showcasing magnificent Greek artefacts as part of rotating exhibitions, with works Parthenon sculptures are reunited at their rightful home in Athens. George Osborne holds secret negotiations with Greece about Elgin Marbles

Fry Electronics Team

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