Elgin Marbles: Coalition slammed for not taking part in UN-brokered talks with Greece

Athens asked for talks about the 2,500-year-old sculptures, held by the British Museum, but the UK said it felt there wasn’t anything to discuss

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Campaigners calling for the return to Greece of the Elgin Marbles have condemned the Coalition for refusing to take part in arbitration brokered by the United Nations.

Athens asked for talks about the 2,500-year-old sculptures, held by the British Museum, through global heritage body Unesco in 2013, but the UK replied, saying it felt there wasn’t anything to discuss.

Andrew George, the chairman of Marbles Reunited, which lobbies for the return of the marbles to Athens, said: “If the Government and the British Museum are so confident about the rightness of their case, they would be happy to engage in mediation. I will appeal to the new government to review its decision; a decision which has brought shame on this country. We can still redeem ourselves by engaging in a gracious act and through the route of Unesco mediation.”

On Saturday, The Independent revealed that the British Museum had offered to discuss with Greece the lending of the Marbles to the Acropolis Museum.

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