According to the Association, the initiative to launch the lawsuit came when the board of directors was informed that the United Kingdom responded negatively to participating in mediation a procedure, as part of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Goods in the Country of Origin.
Not only did the plea not get rejected, but it was lodged, bringing back to life the issue of the return of the Marbles in Greece.
According to Stratis Stratigis, member of the association’s board, “the Athenians’ Association has been following the issue closely for years and when it realized in March 2015 that Britain had rejected even its participation in the mediation procedure, it decided there was an opportunity to appeal before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg as a private association, independently from the State,” he said in a press conference in Plaka on Thursday.
This is the first time that this case was led in front of a judicial authority that could decide based on justice, whereas, according to jurist Vasileio Sotiropoulo, the plea was made “to the only foreign court that an association can resort to.”
This year, the historic “Athenians’ Association” completes 120 years of operation since 1895.