President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos asked for the return of the “stolen Parthenon sculptures” from the British Museum during his speech at Tsinghua University of China on Wednesday.
Pavlopoulos, speaking at the headquarters of the Classical and Modern Greek Studies department of the Chinese university, referred to the London museum’s decision to withhold the ancient Greek sculptures.
The President noted that ”We, the Greeks, are proud of our culture. At the same time, however, we feel the weight and the debt of its protection as well as the continuation of its mission.”
Referring to Athens’ Acropolis and Parthenon, Pavlopoulos said that ”the Greek culture is the cradle of the European civilization but also of western civilization, with the Parthenon having an emblematic role.”
”That is why we are asking for the return of the stolen Parthenon sculptures from the British Museum,” President Pavlopoulos noted emphatically.
”As far as the world-wide cultural uniqueness of the Parthenon and its monuments are concerned, there is no need to provide any explanations; it is a self-evident truth, which is based on unshakable evidence,” Pavlopoulos concluded.
During the dark years of the Ottoman rule, Greece lost one of its most precious cultural treasures, the Parthenon sculptures, when Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin, and ambassador of England in Constantinople, took them down and transported them to England.
With information from AMNA