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Parliamentary questions
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9 October 2020
E-005549/2020
Question for written answer E-005549/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Lefteris Nikolaou-Alavanos (NI)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Full, permanent return of the Parthenon (Elgin) Marbles to the Acropolis of Athens, their natural environment

The Parthenon is a Greek cultural heritage and a global cultural treasure. Around two centuries ago, part of the sculptures were forcibly removed from their natural home and shipped to London – a huge British haul sanctioned by the Ottoman occupiers. Today, the Parthenon sculptures continue to be illegally housed in the British Museum. Each year, millions of visitors to both the Acropolis and the British Museum experience the vacuum and the looting that took place and are unable to admire the edifice in its full glory.

The return of the sculptures and the restoration of the Parthenon in its entirety at the site of its original construction would pay homage to the value and symbolism of the edifice, which is recognised by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage of humanity. At the same time, it would repair an old and continuing injustice. While Great Britain was a member of the EU, the EU failed to take the initiative to return the sculptures to Greece.

How does the Commission view, also in light of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, the request for the full and permanent return of the Parthenon sculptures to their natural environment, so that they can be united with the Acropolis of Athens, with which they are intrinsically linked?

Original language of question: EL
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