Britain’s Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to have the Parthenon Marbles returned to Greece if he is voted in as Prime Minister. “The Parthenon sculptures belong to Greece,” Corbyn told Greek daily Ta Nea in an exclusive interview. He said that if he is voted in as Prime Minister at the next elections that he will pursue the return of the marbles.
“We should begin constructive talks with the Greek government on the return of the sculptures,” he added. It is not the first time, Corbyn speaks in favor of the return of the Parthenon Marbles but now, he puts himself in the center of the debate.
The Parthenon Marbles which date back to the fifth century BCE, were removed from the Parthenon temple in the Greek capital by the seventh Earl of Elgin, Thomas Bruce, in 1817 with permission of Ottomans who were occupying Greece at that time.
Greece argues that the Ottoman permission doesn’t stand, given that it was a foreign force that had invaded Greece, and it was in no way acting in accordance to the will of the Greek people.