Stelios in bid to reunite Elgin Marbles

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The Independent Culture

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of the budget airline easyJet, is due to launch a one-man campaign to reunite the Elgin Marbles by taking out a series of full-page advertisements in national newspapers across Britain next week.

The Greek businessman has written an open letter to the British Museum in London and the new Acropolis Museum in Athens. In it, he urges the institutions to reunite the Elgin – also known as the Parthenon – Marbles that are currently divided between Greece and Britain.

In an ad to be published on Monday, he writes: "I think the time has come for the curators of the two museums to have a constructive dialogue ... Away from the politics and name-calling, I feel there is now a win-win solution for both museums in the form of a cultural exchange. Therefore, art lovers worldwide might get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these masterpieces reunited."

In the final line of the letter, he mentions a campaign that he plans to launch this summer. A ship, emblazoned with with the slogan "Reunite the Parthenon Marbles", will sail around the Greek islands .

Some of the Marbles, which once adorned the Acropolis in Athens, were removed by Lord Elgin, Britain's ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.