Greece: British Museum ‘damp’ insults Parthenon Sculptures

Reclining Dionysos sculpture from the Parthenon's east pediment, circa 447–433 B.C. Image by Jastrow. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

Reclining Dionysos sculpture from the Parthenon’s east pediment, circa 447–433 B.C. Image by Jastrow. Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greece’s Culture Minister says alleged damp in a section of the British Museum housing the Parthenon Sculptures is an “insult” to the 2,500-year-old works for whose return Greece has pressed long and unsuccessfully.

Lina Mendoni’s comments Wednesday followed publication in Greek media of photos ostensibly showing damp and mold stains on the hall’s ceiling, which suffered a minor leak during a rainstorm last year.

She said the “picture of neglect” at the London museum “strengthens Greece’s just demand” for the sculptures‘ return, which the two-month-old conservative government in Athens has revived, seeking a loan of the works in 2021.

Greece says the marbles were illegally removed from the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis during the Ottoman Turkish occupation of Greece in the early 1800s. The British Museum rejects that.

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