LONDON ( Associated Press) – The British Museum has vowed not to destroy its collection after an article said the museum’s president held secret talks with Greece’s prime minister about returning the Parthenon sculptures, also known as the Elgin Marbles. It is said.
The article in the Greek newspaper Ta Nea is the latest twist in a long-running dispute over the ownership of the ancient statues, which originally stood on the Acropolis in Athens and have been a highlight in the British Museum’s collection since 1816.
Ta Nea published on Saturday that talks between museum chairman George Osborne and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis have been ongoing since November 2021 and are in an advanced stage.
While the museum did not rule out talks, a spokesperson declined to discuss details of the Ta Nea newspaper article. The museum said it was ready to “discuss with anyone, including the Greek government” about a new Parthenon “society”.
The museum insisted in a statement published on Saturday: “As the chairman of councilors said last month, we act within the law and we are not going to dismantle our great collection because it is a part of our common humanity.” Tells a unique story.” “But we are looking for new long-term positive partnerships with countries and communities around the world and that certainly includes Greece.”
The Greek government did not comment on the article.
Although British officials have rejected attempts to return the statues to Greece since at least 1941, the tone has recently changed as museums around the world seek to address concerns that imperial and colonial How ancient artifacts were obtained during the period of expansion.
In July, Jonathan Williams, deputy director of the British Museum, said the museum wanted to “turn the temperature of the debate” about the marbles.
“We are seeking an active ‘Parthenon partnership’ with our friends and allies in Greece,” he told the Sunday Times newspaper. “I firmly believe that there is room for a very dynamic and positive dialogue in which we find new ways to work together.”
On its website, the museum stated that it was willing to consider loaning the sculptures to Greece, but subsequent Greek governments refused to acknowledge ownership of the museum. The museum said at the moment there have been no talks on the issue.