Greece PM senses “momentum” in “Elgin Marbles” talks with Britain

The Parthenon Marbles are displayed at the British Museum in London

LONDON (Reuters) – Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday there was “progress” and a sense of “momentum” in talks with Britain to reunite the Parthenon Sculptures in Greece.

Athens has campaigned to have the “Elgin Marbles”, as they are often known – 75 metres of Parthenon frieze, 15 metopes and 17 sculptures – returned from the British Museum since they were removed by British diplomat Lord Elgin in the early 19th century when he was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire then ruling Greece.

“We have seen progress,” Mitsotakis said during an event at the London School of Economics, saying that while discussions remained private, the reunification of the sculptures could be a “win-win solution”.

The British Museum bought the marbles in 1816 and British officials say they had been acquired legally by Elgin, a claim Greece denies.

“I do sense the momentum (to reunite the sculptures),” Mitsotakis added.

(Reporting by Marc Jones; editing by Rodrigo Campos)

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