British lawmakers will submit a bill asking the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. Campaigners for the return of the famous marbles are 12 MPs belonging to several political parties. The “Return of the Parthenon Marbles” Bill proposes that the Parliament should annul what it did 200 years ago, when “Parliament effectively state-sanctioned the improper acquisition of these impressive and important sculptures from Greece.”
A cross-party group of MPs has launched a fresh bid to return the so-called Elgin Marbles to Greece on the 200th anniversary of the British Government’s decision to buy them — a move that campaigners said could help the UK secure a better deal during the Brexit talks with the EU.
The Parthenon Sculptures (Return to Greece) Bill will be presented on the anniversary by Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams, supported by Conservative Jeremy Lefroy and 10 other MPs from Labour, the SNP and Plaid Cymru.
Mr Williams said: “These magnificent artefacts were improperly dragged and sawn off the remains of the Parthenon.
“This Bill proposes that the Parliament should annul what it did 200 years ago. In 1816 Parliament effectively state-sanctioned the improper acquisition of these impressive and important sculptures from Greece.
“It’s time we engaged in a gracious act. To put right right a 200-year wrong.”
The issue has long been a source of tension between, on one side, the UK Government and British Museum, where the 2,500-year-old marbles are currently on display, and, on the other, Greece and international supporters of the reunification of the Parthenon temple’s sculptures.
About half the surviving sculptures were taken from the Parthenon in Athens by Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin, and later bought by the British Government after parliament passed an Act that came into force on 11 July, 1816. The other half are currently in the Acropolis Museum in Greece.
full story The Independent