Amal Alamuddin, new bride to the “eternal bachelor” George Clooney, is en route to Athens today. Along with three other London-based lawyers, she comes to the Greek capital by special invitation of the Samaras government.
The lawyers are in Athens to help the Greek state determine the appropriate legal route for the return of the Parthenon Marbles now housed in the British Museum.
According to the visit’s official schedule, a tour of the Acropolis Museum will be followed by a meeting with Prime Minister Samaras, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Culture Minister Costas Tasoulas, as well as various other officials from the ministries of culture and foreign affairs. A press conference is also scheduled to take place.
With an agenda that includes several meetings, but also some personal leisure time, Amal Alamouddin-Clooney lands today, Monday, October 13 in Athens for a three-day visit.
Mrs. Clooney lands in Athens today after 6pm. The day after tomorrow, Wednesday, she will meet Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras and tomorrow, Tuesday, at noon she will hold a meeting with the Minister of Culture, Costas Tasoulas. The main issue that is going to top all of her meetings is of course the legal framework that can be set so that Greece can claim the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum.
Immediately after the meeting with Mr. Samaras, Mrs. Clooney will visit the Acropolis site, while a press conference will probably take place as well on the same day.
The 36-year old lawyer arrives at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport with a commercial flight from London. Immediately after landing she will be transferred to the Grande Bretagne hotel. As we know, Amal Alamouddin is accompanied by Joffrey Robertson, the head of the firm Doughty Street Champers for which she works for and by Norman Palmer. Both men are honorary directors of the Queen of England and have a deep knowledge of international law and of course great experience in cases involving cultural patrimony.
Besides Amal Alamouddin and her companions from abroad, David Hill, the chairman of the International Commission for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles is also in town and residing as well at the Grande Bretagne hotel. Mr. Hill is the link between the lawyers of Doughty Street Champers and the Greek government. Mr. Hill and the Ministry of Culture will handle the travel details of Alamuddin. During her stay, the wife of George Clooney will visit the Acropolis site and will be attending a luncheon meeting at the Acropolis Museum.
Since February 2011, Alamuddin has been a prominent advocate for the return of the Parthenon Marbles. The leader of the London delegation is acclaimed Australian human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson who, in 2007, secured the legal return of Aboriginal antiquities once held at the Museum of Natural History of Britain. His focus on the Parthenon Marbles has been years in the making. An announcement by Doughty Street Chambers says:
“Mr. Robertson and Mrs. (George) Clooney were first asked to provide legal advice to the Greek government on this matter in 2011. They will be holding a series of meetings with government officials during their stay, including the Prime Minister, Mr. Antonis Samaras, and the Minister of Culture, Mr. Konstantinos Tasoulas.”
Promoting his film “The Monuments Men,” George Clooney also weighed in on the Parthenon Marble debate, claiming in a press conference that the return of the sculptures that once graced the ancient temple “is probably the right thing to do.”