Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni on Monday dismissed any notion of a change in national policy regarding the repatriation of cultural heritage works “illegally found in foreign museums,” as she said.

Mendoni spoke in Parliament in reply to a tabled question by the leftist main opposition party, SYRIZA, regarding the government’s contacts with the British Museum in London over the issue of the Parthenon Marbles’ return.

Among others, she said the Mitsotakis government’s strategy is to continue to promote the just request by Athens for the friezes’ return, with one tangible result being a UNESCO decision in September 2021.

Among others, a relevant UNESCO inter-governmental committee at the time stated that it “…acknowledges the  ongoing  cooperation  between  Greece  and  the  United  Kingdom  on  cultural matters  and expresses the  wish  that  it  should  continue  with  a  view  to  conclude  the  ongoing discussions in respect of the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures…”

“Greece continues and intensifies its efforts to reach a mutually acceptable solution, which seems to have matured, at least in the mind of the international civil society…This government, from the prime minister and the ministers on down, has never spoke about an exchange (of antiquities), of borrowing and the recognition of ownership,” the minister stressed on Monday.

At the same time, Mendoni, a trained archaeologist, said the holding of exhibitions in foreign museums with exhibits loaned by Greek institutions is a standard and long-employed practice by the culture ministry, one held within the framework of extroversion and the dissemination of the ideals of Hellenic civilization.”