Greece’s bid to establish its demand for the return of Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum in London to the Acropolis Museum in Athens more firmly on the international agenda came a step closer this week after UNESCO agreed to act as arbiter in the dispute between Greece and the UK.
“Greece’s aim was just that: the publication of an announcement in which third countries would encourage Great Britain to accept the arbitration process,” Culture Minister Costas Tasoulas told Kathimerini following the UNESCO announcement.
UNESCO’s committee unanimously agreed for the international heritage organization to mediate in talks between the two countries for the return of the marbles, removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin in the early 1800s. Britain, however, is under no obligation to accept the arbitration.
In a related development, the Greek Culture Ministry has submitted an application with UNESCO to have the ancient city of Philippi in eastern Macedonia listed as a world heritage site.