The leader of the Labour Party of the United Kingdom has called for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. The statues are currently housed and displayed in the British Museum in London. Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece once he is elected.
Talking to Ta Nea, a Greek newspaper, Corbyn said that it was clear that the sculptures “belong to Greece”.
He stated: “They were made in Greece, and that is where they were for thousands of years until they were taken by Lord Elgin. We should be engaged in constructive talks with the Greek government about returning the sculptures.”
Corbyn requested for the launch of “constructive” talks with the government of Greece regarding the return of the said sculptures. He notes that that is the usual course of action in the case of theft or removal of all artefacts that are from countries that had been under occupation or colonies.
The said marbles date back to the fifth century BC. It was said that the 7th Earl of Elgin, Thomas Bruce, took it away from the Parthenon in Athens.
After being granted permission from the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Greece during that time, he brought the marbles to England and sold them to the government of the United Kingdom in 1816.
In the interview that was published today, he also released some comments regarding the debt crisis in Greece. He said that it was evidence that governments should be able to have the power to intervene in the economy.
Corbyn stated: “Governments must have the freedom to set economic policies that will help the many.”
He added: “State intervention in the economy, ensuring the retention of vital public services or choosing a different path to austerity must all be policy options available to democratic states.”