The issue of the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures was one of the main items on the agenda of the 22nd Session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee on the Return of Cultural Good.
Translated from Greek using Microsoft Word Translate
The issue of the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures was one of the main items on the agenda of the 22nd Session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee on the Return of Cultural Goods to X-Hoursof Origin(ICPRCP).
According to the Ministry of Culture,the Commission for the first time this year, in addition to the Recommentation,which it has consistently adopted on the subject, unanimously voted for an additional text that is Decision 22 COM 17, exclusively aimed at the issue of the return of the Parthenon Sculptures.
The Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, after the completion of the work of the Intergovernmental Committee, stated that “Greece’s request for the final return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens, is constantly on the agenda of the Meetings of the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO,for the Return of Cultural Goods to the Xhours of Origin(ICPRCP),since1984, when it was first raised by Melina Mercouri, until today”.
“At the 22nd Session, which was concluded last night, Greece succeeded, in parallel with the publication of the Recommendation – in which reference is made to the poor conditions of exhibition of the Sculptures in the British Museum – the issuance, for the first time, of a Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee concerning specifically the issue of the return of the Parthenonian Sculptures. The Commission urges the United Kingdom to reconsider its position and to talk to Greece, recognising that the issue is of an intergovernmental nature – contrary to what the British side claims that the case concerns the British Museum – and above all that Greece is rightly and legally claiming the Return of the Sculptures to its birthplace. Both texts, of the Recommendation and the Decision, constitute a particularly important development in the legitimate claim of our country”, added Mrs. Mendoni.
“I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the members of the Greek delegation, as well as of our Permanent Representation to UNESCO,who, with particular dedication to the goal of the final return of the Sculptures, worked systematically and achieved this extremely positive result,” she added.
The added value of the Decision
As the Ministry of Culture points out in a statement, the added value of the Decision lies in the fact that the Commission expresses its strong dissatisfaction with the fact that the resolution of the issue remains outstanding, due to the attitude of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, it urges the United Kingdom to reconsider its position and engage in a bona gueful dialogue with Greece, emphatically underlining the intergovernmental nature of the dispute.
Accordingly, the text of the Recommendation reflects, among other things, the Committee’s concern about the fact that the Duveen Gallery,in the British Museum, in which the Parthenon Sculptures are exhibited, is closed to the public, due to the necessary works to repair its damage.
Greece’s righteous request for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures was strongly supported by the majority of the members of the Committee.
At the 22nd Session of the Intergovernmental Committee, Greece was represented by the Ministry of Culture by the Secretary General for Culture, Giorgos Didaskalou, the General Director of the Acropolis Museum, Nikolaos Stampolidis, the Head of the Directorate for the Documentation and Protection of Cultural Goods, Vassiliki Papageorgiou, and on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Legal Advisor of the Special Legal Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Artemis Papathanasiou.