Greek Minister of Culture and Sports, Dr L Mendoni, Announces Reopening of Museums in Greece

“It is with a great sense of pleasure I learned that the Greek Minister of Culture and Sports Dr. L Mendoni has announced the reopening of all museums in Greece from June 15, said Emanuel J Comino AM, founder, and Chairman of the International Organising Committee – Australia – for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.

“The timing is auspicious as on June 20, a mere five days later, we celebrate the eleventh anniversary of the opening of the Acropolis Museum.

The Acropolis Museum is rated one of the 10 best museums in the world. The reason why is obvious as soon as anyone steps inside. It’s a place deeply and dynamically connected with the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

Every time I visit, I’m not only moved by its superb design and the beautiful presentation of the remaining Parthenon Marbles, but I’m touched with a little sadness. I’m reminded of Elgin’s vandalism, and the Parthenon Marbles now kept in the British Museum. This strengthens my commitment to the campaign for their return.

The Parthenon Marbles kept in the British Museum must be returned to Athens and placed in the Acropolis Museum. This is the only place where the people of the world can begin to appreciate the fullness of their beauty and their contribution to the modern world. Only when they are together can people understand what they are telling us about more than 2000 years of glorious Greek history.

I have long recognised that the British Nation and its people strongly espouse and believe in justice, freedom and friendship. They have demonstrated this over the years, wherever these such values are threatened anywhere around the world.

So, it was with interest I also noted comments from Hartwig Fischer, British Museum Director, this week, he said:

“We stand with everyone who is denied equal rights and protection from violence in the fullest sense of these terms. These are challenges that we as a society must address, injustices that must be overcome.” [1]

These are sentiments that accord with my understanding of Britain as a country that espouses justice, freedom, and friendship.

Mr. Fischer added:

“We will continue to research, acknowledge and address the colonial history of Britain and its impact on our institution in exhibitions like Collecting Histories and Reimagining Captain Cook: Pacific perspectives from 2019. But there is much more to do.”

 

“Yes Mr Fischer, there is much more to do. The Parthenon Marbles were taken while Greece was under Ottoman occupation, and Britain was an expanding colonial power in the eastern Mediterranean. They were never given to Britain.

Let us hope your comments are not just empty words.  It is time to act.”

 

A response from the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

Read the response from Dame Janet Suzman Chair of the BCRPM Damer Janet

 


[1] https://blog.britishmuseum.org/a-message-from-director-hartwig-fischer/

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