British Museum Says It Wants ‘Realistic Solutions’ to Parthenon Marbles Restitution Debate

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The British Museum said it is interested in “realistic solutions” to its ownership dispute with Greece over the Parthenon Marbles following a UNESCO conference in which a representative of Turkey took aim at England’s claim to the contested sculptures.

The London institution has long claimed gave British forces permission for the removal of art from Athens in the early 19th century. According to the Greek newspaper Ekathimerini, the Turkish representative at the UNESCO conference questioned the legitimacy of those documents.

“The British Museum acknowledges Greece’s strong desire for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens. We understand and respect the deep emotions involved,” a museum spokesperson told the Greek news outlet SKAI TV on Tuesday. The spokesperson added that the museum seeks a “new relationship with Greece.”

Relations between Greece and the British Museum have grown strained over the past two years, with progress on a compromise to the centuries-long issue stalled amid public spats.

In 2023, the British Museum, which has held the sculptures since 1832, confirmed that it had been secretly meeting with representatives of the Greek government over a potential loan agreement. Greek culture minister Lina Mendoni said days later that that Greece would not agree to a d...


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British Museum Says It Wants ‘Realistic Solutions’ to Parthenon Marbles Restitution Debate