British Parliament on Greek affairs
EDM 212 - PARTHENON SCULPTURES  -   Early Day Motion 212   (19.01.99)

O'Hara/Edward                                                                               15 signatures

That this House notes that a recent MORI opinion poll found a substantial majority in favour of returning the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece, and that a previous opinion poll organised by Channel 4 Television showed over 90 per cent in favour; believes that the Parthenon and its sculptures form an artistic unity; notes that UNESCO has declared the Parthenon a world cultural heritage site and supports the return of the sculptures; observes that the Parthenon Sculptures were removed by Lord Elgin from Athens under terms and conditions which raise questions about his legal title to their ownership and therefore that of any subsequent purchase; is concerned at the damage done to the sculptures in the British Museum, and is confident that the new museum in Athens will be adequate for their safekeeping; questions whether more visitors would see the sculptures in the British Museum than in Athens; is aware of the fear that the restitution of the Parthenon Sculptures would set a precedent for the dismantling of all the great museum collections but believes that this would be averted if the sculptures were returned to Greece as a gesture of goodwill; believes that such a gesture would bring credit to the UK, and that the millennium would offer an opportunity for such a gesture or if that is too soon, the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens; and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to enter into discussions with Greece on the restitution of the Parthenon Sculptures.

O'Hara/Edward,  Harvey/Nick, Taylor/Teddy, Hawkins/Nick, Cox/Tom, Benton/Joe, Cunliffe/Lawrence, Clapham/Michael, Cummings/John, Michie/Bill, Clarke/Eric, Corbett/Robin, Godman/Norman A, Brand/Peter, Fyfe/Maria.

Also see Euro Parliament on Parthenon Marbles