Cyclists from Greece, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, the UK and Italy started their “Bring the Parthenon Marbles back” campaign early Saturday morning, August 5 from the gate of the British Museum in London to Athens.
This year’s cycling tour across Europe is part of the “London-Athens on 2 Wheels – Bring Them Back” initiative aimed at raising awareness about the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.
The participants will cycle 3,500 km to the Acropolis in Athens making stops at five checkpoints (Mons, Munich, Budapest, Kastoria, and Trikala) in Europe and Greece, where they will be joined by other cyclists.
During their journey, the cyclists will collect signatures requesting the return of the Parthenon Sculptures, state broadcaster ERT reported.
The route is the virtual path that the sculptures will have to cover, to return to their homeland, as said by the British Commission for the Return of the Parthenon sculptures.
The cycling event, supported by the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles (BCRPM) with the support of the Attica Region, is part of the ongoing campaign to reunite the Parthenon Marbles.
“The aim was to establish an annual event bringing together people who love sports, adventures, and cycling, not least the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, a just cause, supported by many all around the world,” said Vasiliki Voutzali, a cyclist and nurse from Greece, and the initiator of the annual challenge, told website gtp.gr.
This is the second year of the “London-Athens on 2 Wheels – Bring Them Back”.
In 2014, Italian professor Salvatore Lo Sicco cycled from London to Athens to rally for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to their birthplace in Greece. His bike journey began on July 1 from the steps of the British Museum and 35 days later he arrived at the Acropolis Museum in Athens. His initiative was also supported by the BCRPM. Last year, five cyclists completed the trip in 14 days.
In the cycling for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures 2023 the participants are: Vasiliki Voutzali (Greece), Stephen Streich (Germany-Greece), Christopher Ross Bennett (New Zealand), David Hitch (Australia), Paul Adelson (UK) , Dionysis Kartsambas (Greece). Pierluigi Talamona (Italy), Aristotelis Tsogas (Greece) will join during the ride, ERT reported.