Greek Culture Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos, addressing the presidents and members of the national committees for the return of the Parthenon Marbles of Cyprus, Germany, Sweden, Britain, Switzerland and Australia, in the framework of the International Conference held at the Acropolis Museum on Sunday, stressed that “our effort for the return of the Parthenon Marbles does not begin from a need to strenghen our national egoism. It is an effort with global extensions, since it aims at the restoration of the unity of a paramount cultural monument that constitutes common reference for the entire humanity. It is an ecumenical effort with a deep humanitarian character”.
The committees’ representatives, after visiting the Acropolis, where they were briefed on restoration work that is continuing at the monument, met with Panayiotopoulos at the Acropolis Museum. The members of the Greek Advisory Committee for the Parthenon Marbles also attended the meeting.
The Greek Culture minister referred to the late Melina Mercouri who was the first, as culture minister, to start the struggle for the return of the Parthenon Marbles and spoke of the Greek Advisory Committee’s contribution and provided a briefing on UNESCO’s letter to the Foreign and Culture ministers of Britain William Hague and Maria Miller respectively, as well as the British Museum’s Director Robert Neal McGregor with which the British officials are notified officially of the Greek side’s request for the Mediation procedure to go ahead to enable an arrangement on the difference concerning the Parthenon Marbles to be achieved.
The minister stressed that, if the British side agrees to the carrying out of this procedure, it will be the first time that UNESCO will activate it for resolving a cultural difference between two countries. He also pointed out that this development is becoming even more important in light of UNESCO’s international Intergovernmental Conference that will be held in Paris in this coming November.