The issue of the Parthenon Marbles’ return from the British Museum again generated a high-profile article in one of the UK’s top dailies, with the Guardian on Wednesday quoting Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni as saying the country is prepared to exchange some of its priceless artifacts for a return of the incomparable friezes back to Athens.
Mendoni’s quote is attributed as “fill the void” at the British Museum, according to long-time Guardian correspondent in Athens Helena Smith.
“Our position is clear: Should the sculptures be reunited in Athens, Greece is prepared to organise rotating exhibitions of important antiquities that would fill the void.”
Questioned by the reporter, she said specific pieces had not been discussed in negotiations that have now been confirmed.
However, in describing what Athens is willing to offer, she said “(They) would fill the void, maintain, and constantly renew, international visitor interest in the Greek galleries of the British Museum.”
At the same time, she cautioned that “any agreement and all its particulars, would have to be in accordance with the Greek law on cultural heritage”.
Successive Greek governments, including the current center-right administration led by PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, have been loathed to consider a return of the Marbles in a “loan scheme”.
The Guardian article adds that “George Osborne, the British Museum’s chair, responding to the drive by Athens to reunite the marbles, has appeared more determined to tackle the issue head-on than any of his predecessors.”