We have seen that there are a lot of countries demanding that their sculptures and art as well as gems be returned to them that were captured by the Britishers in the 1800s or 1900s when the Britishers used to rule the world. However, we also know that this is a matter of pride for the UK to not give these items back to these countries as that would mean that they were stolen and the UK is not able to digest that fact. This is the reason why we see the UK getting disgruntled whenever someone asks for their precious items back.
Same has happened once again as the Greek Prime Minister asked for their Parthenon Sculptures also known as the Elgin Marbles to be returned back to them from the UK. This has not gone down well with the UK as it is evident from the act of UK PM Rishi Sunak who cancelled his meeting with the Greek PM at the last minute and instead scheduled the meeting with deputy Prime Minister which the Greek PM declined. Greek PM also mentioned that “he was deeply disappointed” with the cancellation of this meeting at the last moment.
The reason for this cancellation is a statement from Greek PM to the BBC saying that “the marbles should be returned, as having some of the artefacts in London and the rest in Athens was like cutting the Mona Lisa in half”. Obviously irritated by the last-minute cancellation of his meeting, the Greek PM said “Those who firmly believe in the correctness and justice of their positions are never hesitant to engage in constructive argumentation and debate.”
Sources close to the Greek PM say that he was “baffled” and “annoyed” and added that “Our positions on the matter of the Parthenon Sculptures are well-known. I had anticipated engaging in a discussion with my British counterpart on this issue, as well as addressing significant global challenges such as the situations in Gaza and Ukraine, the climate crisis, and migration.” Sources from the UK’s Conservative party stated that “Our position is clear – the Elgin Marbles are part of the permanent collection of the British Museum and belong here. It is reckless for any British politician to suggest that this is subject to negotiation.”