On a triple level, that is, government, museums and public opinion, Maximos Mansion (the PM’s office) intends to wage a veritable war for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, investing more than ever in the momentum shaped by developments since last autumn, even if the issue is recognized as multifactorial, without automatic solutions and a long course ahead. The presence of Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Acropolis Museum for the second time in a week on the occasion of the delivery of the “Fagan fragment” from Italy, not as a loan but for the first time with the deposit method, confirms the decision of Athens to call on London at every opportunity, maintaining the demand in the public sphere as a matter of “world culture”.
The information points to behind-the-scenes moves and Greek-British contacts in the near future, without, according to the same sources, ruling out an attempt for targeted campaigns aimed primarily at public opinion outside Greek borders. After all, one of the key points that paves the way for the search by the Greek government for more support from British society is the support that is already being recorded in the polls in the request for the repatriation of the Sculptures. And obviously the government’s pressure strategy is intensifying against the background of the latest UNESCO decision that directly favors intergovernmental dialogue. In other words, the aim is to feed in every way the dynamics that, according to the Prime Minister, are being structured for the prospect of repatriation of the Sculptures.
That is why, after his recent statements to the British newspaper “The Telegraph” and his lively conversation with Boris Johnson last November, Mitsotakis again sent a message to Downing Street.
“When there is a willingness, there is a way,” he said, looking forward to a “constructive dialogue” between the British Museum and the Greek authorities. What the government is seeking is a settlement between the two sides (Museums and cultural authorities) a la Palermo, similar to the process that brought together the Acropolis Museum and the Antonino Salinas Museum for the “Fagan fragment” which is part of segment VI of the eastern frieze of the Parthenon. Speaking of a “mutually acceptable solution”, the Prime Minister described yesterday’s ceremony as an important step that “paves the way for other museums to be able to move in the same direction.”
The fragment (0.355 m high, 0.31 m wide and 0.105 m thick, in which the lower extremities of a goddess, probably Artemis, are depicted) will be exhibited in Athens for the next eight years, however the regional administration of Sicily seeks the historical relic to remain permanently in Greece, asking Rome for a legal settlement of the issue through the Code of Cultural Heritage.
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