Mitsotakis's bid to borrow looted statues
Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis has asked his British counterpart Johnson to lend Athens a collection of marble statues known as the Elgin Marbles in exchange for Greek antique treasures. The statues which formed part of the Acropolis were removed by the British ambassador in the 19th century when Greece was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and sold to the British Museum. The Greek press does not entirely approve of the plan.
We don't have to borrow what belongs to us
Mitsotakis is using the wrong strategy with the British, Dimokratia writes:
“If the Greek Prime Minister's proposal is implemented, the British will say that we have recognized that they are the legitimate owners of the Marbles! You can't borrow something from someone if you think they are not the owner - unless you're planning not to give it back. In any case, Greece has the right to do this in order to restore justice: to take back what belongs to the country and not return it. But in this case Athens should not give the British any important Greek antiques that would play the role of 'hostages'.”
Return would provoke a public outcry
Borrowing the Elgin Marbles is a daring undertaking, Protagon writes:
“This is the first time that the talk of borrowing the Marbles in exchange for Greek antiques is more than just a vague suggestion. There is a clear timetable and a clear concept. But at least one question remains open: even if a temporary loan contract is concluded (because it is unlikely that the loan would be indefinite) and the Marbles come to us, how will the Greek public react on the day when they are repacked to be sent back to London? So this is indeed a bold step.”