Amal Alamuddin arrives in Greece to advise government on return of Elgin Marbles from UK

George Clooney first made a bid for the artifacts to be repatriated in February

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The Independent Online

Amal Alamuddin arrived in Athens today to advise the Greek government on how to repatriate the ancient Elgin Marbles statues from Britain.

The collection of sculptures, inscriptions and architectural features were acquired by Lord Elgin in 1816, while Athens was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. They are currently on display at the British Museum, despite Greece’s repeated request to have them returned.

Alamuddin – who married George Clooney in Venice last month – will meet Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Culture Minister Konstantinos Tasoulas, as well as her boss, Geoffrey Robertson.

“Mr Robertson and Mrs Clooney were first asked to provide legal advice to the Greek government on this matter in 2011. They will be holding a series of meetings with government officials during their stay,” Doughty Street chambers said in a statement.

Alamuddin will remain in the country from today until 16 October.

Alamuddin has previously represented clients including Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the King of Bahrain. She has also served as counsel to the United Nations on the use of drones and as UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s advisor on Syria. In February, Clooney waded into the debate, arguing that the artefacts should be returned; arguing that to do so would be a “very fair and very nice thing” and “the right thing to do”.

His argument was not received well by UK chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee John Whittingdale, who suggested that the actor might not be well-informed.

 “I’m a great admirer of George Clooney, but I suspect that he probably doesn’t know the history of the Elgin Marbles and the legal entitlement that Britain has to them,” he said.