Boris Johnson's government is being held hostage, as is UK and world public opinion, along with a UNESCO world heritage monument, and ironically the symbol of Democracy itself, the Parthenon Sculptures, by a retentionist colonial-era mindset cabal of 21 unelected officials at the British Museum.
The UK government shunts Greek, EU and UNESCO organisations requests for restitution to the Museum Trustees, wishing to avoid conflict with the government-appointed cabal, despite the overwhelming support for the return among the British public, the Oxford Union, Cambridge University, the Opposition leader, and dozens of other world respected academic, political and cultural establishments.
Day by day the isolation of the colonial-era booty museum with its halls overflowing with blood-soaked and looted foreign artefacts and collections becomes more obvious and pressing on the institution. This has resulted in an increasingly aggressive stance in the statements of BM curators and spokespeople.
The British government will have to deal with the unethical stance of the holdout trustee committee if Her Majesty's Government is not to become a cultural oddity as Britain moves to reassert its independence and national identity post-Brexit.
Any government that gives protection to a tiny but still influential committee of special interest will find itself at odds with the rest of the country and the world. Whitehall cannot forever ignore the issue hoping it will go away. It will not, and we at IPSACI, along with hundreds of thousands of citizens, organisations, student unions, professional organisations and decent citizens will make sure that the British government has the full support it may wish for to take the bull by the horns to do what is right.
Britain gave back India and a hundred colonies to their rightful owners. It is a very small step to empty Room 18 of the British Museum and to put that museum on the road away from its iniquitous past and towards a future governed by ethical curating to transform the historical museum into a truly great world institution. The British public that overwhelmingly supports restitution of looted collections deserves no less.