As the ongoing dispute, often acrimonious, between the British Museum and the Greek government over the Parthenon Marbles continues, the former is facing another challenge about the dilapidated state of its Greek, Roman, and Assyrian galleries, as site reports.

The report notes that the Parthenon Marbles, along with Assyrian and Roman artifacts, are housed in an antiquated room on the verge of crumbling, with leaky roofs, peeling paint from the walls, problematic climate control, and cracked floor tiles.

“Two adjoining galleries, one displaying Greek and Roman sculptures (Gallery 23) and the other masterpieces of Assyrian art (Gallery 8), are now exposed to the elements but for a thin sheet of material stretched over large skylights in the ceiling to cover the opening where reinforced glass panels should be,” the article points out.

During an in-person inspection conducted by Cristina Ruiz, the author of the article, at the British Museum on January 23rd, when Britain was in the grip of severe weather, it was found that the winds and rain were blowing the sheets that covered the roofs of the rooms, while especially in room 8, which houses antiquities from the palace of the Assyrian king in Nimrod, modern Iraq, the sheet was torn and the sky was visible.

The shabby state of the galleries has been brought to public attention many times before, including in 2018, when footage of water leaking into the hall housing the Parthenon Marbles was broadcast on Greek television.

Lina Mendoni, the Greek Minister of Culture, noted that this “reinforces Greece’s rightful demand for the sculptures’ permanent return to Athens.”

Mendoni spoke out again against the museum’s care of Greek antiquities on February 17 after a fashion show was staged directly in front of the Parthenon Marbles.

To address the poor climate control and cold air entering the gallery, an industrial floor was installed at the feet of an Assyrian artifact, dating from 865-860 B.C.E., while other heaters were also placed in the large hall containing the Parthenon Marbles just a few feet away.