The Parthenon: An Icon of Global Citizenship
With the theme Parthenon: An Icon of Global Citizenship Colloquy 2013 was organised by this Committee. We welcomed people campaigning for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles from all over the world.
The linking of diverse people underscored a new chapter in global citizenship with the Parthenon as the symbolic and the actual point of unity.
In his opening address to Colloquy 2013, our Chairman, Emanuel J Comino AM JP, reminded us of the foundational role played by Melina Mercouri former Minister of Culture and Sciences in Greece, in instigating the modern campaign for reunification.
The importance of Melina Mercouri
On July 29, 1982, Melina Mercouri, addressed the World Conference on Cultural Policies, organised by UNESCO, in Mexico. She told the world that the Parthenon Marbles must be returned to Greece. The following year she asked our committee to assist the newly formed British Committee, now known as The British Committee for Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles (BCRPM), in whatever way we could.
Since that time we have maintained a close association with the BCRPM.
Moreover, we acknowledge the important contribution Melina Mercouri has made
Parthenon Marbles neither belong to the UK nor to Greece, to you or me! They belong to themselves and represent 2500 years of uninterrupted Greek history. E G Comino AM.
Nugas Victoria invited Greek Australian Emanuel Comino, Founder, and Chairman of the International Organising Committee Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles – Australia to address a large student gathering. (click here a Facebook link to an interview, in Greek, with EJ Comino)
Also in attendance was Jim Melas whose YouTube video has been widely appreciated. Jim’s response to the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum reminds Emanuel of his first encounter with them in this forlorn space, more than 42 years ago.
Thanks to long-standing Greek representations to the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property (ICPRCP), UNESCO has acknowledged the “historical, cultural, legal and ethical dimensions of the issue of the return of the Marbles to the Parthenon, which is a World Heritage Site and as such of universal significance. The ICPRCP committee is calling on both sides to resolve the issue with a “mutually acceptable solution”.
Highlighting the cultural and ethical dimensions
Following this important ICPRCP decision, Greek Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou met with her counterpart in London.
Online news service GTP reports:
“The issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece was tabled during a meeting this week in London, between Greek Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou and her UK counterpart Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Matt Hancock.
Minister Koniordou, also met with Michael Ellis, undersecretary of state for culture, said that it was time to intensify the dialogue between the two sides on a political level, highlighting the cultural and ethical dimensions of the issue, while underlining at the same time a recent recommendation by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of Illicit Appropriation (ICPRCP), which for the first time took a clear stance on the highly debated issue earlier this month.”
Despite some misguided suggestions from different groups with an interest in return of the Parthenon Marbles, the EU education and culture commissioner Tibor Navracsics has clarified matters. He said that the bloc’s directives on the repatriation of national treasures, apply in cases dating from 1993 onward and not to items removed in the 19th century.
Read more here.
President of Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos received a delegation of the Ionian Islands Federations earlier on Friday, which briefed him on their initiative for the repatriation of all elements of culture around the world and asked for his support.
Emanuel with William in London, January 2000 “I was very saddened to hear of the death of Mr William G. Stewart, a good friend and great supporter for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Hellas. I saw his excellent TV presentation on the Marbles campaign that was made for Channel 4 in the late…
via Emanuel Comino pays tribute to William G Stewart — Home
Judges for the moot court trial
Justice Emilios Kyrou and Justice Rita Zammit of the Supreme Court of Victoria and Justice Debra Mortimer of the Federal Court of Australia.
Counsel for Greece
Paul Anastassiou QC, President of the Victorian Bar
Counsel for the UK:
Julian Burnside AO QC.
Moderator for the panel discussion
Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, President, Australian Human Rights Commission.
Panel discussion members from Monash University
Associate Professor Douglas Guilfoyle, international law expert; Dr Tria Gkouvas, legal philosopher; Dr Andrew Connor, ancient historian; Dr Evangelina Anagnostou-Laoutides, classicist.