It has been over 200 years since Greece was robbed of its famous marble Parthenon sculptures, known around the world as the so-called “Elgin Marbles” and in an interview published by Greece’s Ta Nea newspaper on Saturday, the director of the British Museum said that his country has no reason to return the sculptures to Greece.
In the interview, director Hartwig Fischer explained that since Greece is not the legal owner of the Parthenon Marbles, that the museum has ruled out any possibility of an open-ended loan of the sculptures to Greece. He went on to insist that the Parthenon Marbles belong to the British Museum, maintaining that Lord Elgin did not steal them and that he instead took them with the knowledge and permission of the Ottoman authorities during his time in Athens from 1801 and 1805. At this time, Lord Elgin was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, of which Athens was part of.
Meanwhile, recent polls in the UK have shown an overwhelming majority of citizens support the reunification of the Greek Marbles, as a 2017 Ipsos-Mori poll showed 69 percent of Britons were in favor of returning the marbles, while only a mere 13 percent were against.