Greek culture minister lina mendoni has again demanded the return of the parthenon frieze pieces from the british museum in london to the acropolis museum in athens.
The friezes on display in london were stolen, the minister explained. In the event of a non-return, the british museum would demonstrate that it remains "a colonialist museum that continues to hold captive treasures of world heritage that do not belong to it," the minister said in an interview with a greek tv station on friday evening, according to the culture ministry in athens on saturday.
Athens has been demanding for decades the return of the sculptures, which have been in the possession of the british museum since 1816. The british have so far refused to do so. Eleven years ago, a new museum was built underneath the acropolis in the greek capital. The real parts are exhibited there together with plaster replicas of the missing elements. The parthenon ("virgin’s chamber") is one of the most famous surviving monuments of ancient greece.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the british ambassador lord elgin. The best preserved parts of the parthenon (the so-called "elgin marbles") were dismantled in the early twentieth century and brought to england. He sold it to the museum in 1816. 56 out of 96 slabs of frieze have been there ever since.