Truss rules out backing deal to return Elgin Marbles to Greece 

1 min read
People admire the Parthenon Marbles inside the Parthenon Galleries in the British Museum. The marbles are also known as Elgin Marbles, with sculptures are artifacts of the frieze and the East Pediment from the Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens. Credit line: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto / Shutterstock Editorial / Profimedia

British Prime Minister Liz Truss has ruled out supporting a deal to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece.

Her comments came after George Osborne, chairman of the British Museum and former Tory chancellor, said there is a “deal to be done” to share the Parthenon Marbles with Greece.

However, Truss told GB News at the Conservative Party conference: “I don’t support that.”

The sculptures – 17 figures and part of a frieze that decorated the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple at the Acropolis – were taken by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century when he was the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and have been the subject of a long-running dispute over where they should be displayed.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called for the marbles to be returned to Greece on many occasions, even offering to loan some of his country’s other treasures to the British Museum in exchange.

In a recent interview with the Sunday Times, he said he will raise the subject with Truss on a visit to London this year.

Mitsotakis said: “At a time when Truss will be looking to build her credibility and when the UK is sort of cornered in terms of its overall image after the (Queen’s) funeral, it will be a fantastic gesture and that’s what I’ll tell her.”

In 2021, then-prime minister Boris Johnson told the Greek premier the issue was “one for the trustees of the British Museum.” (PA Media/dpa)

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