After UNESCO mediation and support the Greek Culture Minister sent an official letter to her British counterpart to request that Britain enter into priority talks for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures still in the British Museum. It is the first time that Greece has officially demanded the return from Britain of the looted sections of the Parthenon Frieze since 1981 when then Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri demanded the restitution from Britain.
It has been a long battle for our campaign organisation to get the Greek government to commit to directly demanding the sculptures, where we have noticed years long reticence for any sort of pressure by Greece on Britain until now. It is only in the last few months that Greek politicians such as the President of the Republic have publicly made demands in this direction, with the Greek Prime Minister Mr Tsipras recently referring to the need to solve this long festering culltural conflict between Britain and Greece, after which the letter to Britain for talks was sent.
Our chairman's suggestion that Brexit was an ideal, and unique in 200 years opportunity, for Greece to force the return was met by an immediate denial in a press release by the culture minister that Greece would pressure Britain using Brexit that needs Greek parliamentary ratification to be valid, while a section of the British tabloid press predictably attacked the statement by IPSACI chairman Alexis Mantheakis to Deutsche Welle and Bunte saying we could "now get the Sculptures back with a little pressure". And Greece can!