Rumours of Parthenon Marbles’ return ‘overhyped’, experts say

A trustee of the British Museum has confirmed the institution is in talks with the Greek government about the disposition of the Parthenon Marbles, but has told Al Jazeera that a deal may be elusive.

“There is certainly movement, but it is being overhyped,” said Mary Beard, professor of classics at Cambridge University and a trustee since 2020.

The Marbles are architectural sculptures removed from the Acropolis of Athens in 1801 by Lord Elgin, when Greece was an Ottoman dominion, and displayed at the British Museum since 1817.

Greece says they form inseparable parts of the monument and must be returned.

“There is real desire to do something. After 200 years, surely we can get somewhere better than where we are,” Beard said. “Is the problem going to be resolved? I’m not sure.”

There was excitement last July, when the British Museum told the Sunday Times it was offering to talk to Greece about a “deal” over the Marbles.

“The British Museum opted to come out and say they were talking [with us] and trying to find a solution,” said Eleni Korka, honorary general director of antiquities and cultural heritage at the Greek culture ministry and key negotiator since Greece made public its quest to bring back the Marbles in 1981.

Related Articles

Back to top button