Friday, March 27, 2015

British Museum's response to a UNESCO proposal to enter into mediation over the Parthenon Marbles.

British Museum's response to a UNESCO proposal to enter into mediation over the Parthenon Marbles.
After full and careful consideration, we have decided respectfully to decline this request. We believe that the more constructive way forward, on which we have already embarked, is to collaborate directly with other museums and cultural institutions, not just in Greece but across the world.
On the Elginism blog, the timing of the response - issued on the last day of Parliament - has attracted attention: "the timing of this announcement merely highlights the level of awkward obstructiveness that is faced when anyone tried to actually engage the British Government or the British Museum in discussions on the issue".

1 comment:

  1. It is remarkable that the British Museum and the British Government continue to advance the museum’s propaganda that it holds the Parthenon Marbles on behalf of humanity. Does this humanity include the British people who have in countless opinion polls overwhelmingly and consistently decided that the Parthenon Marbles be returned to Greece. Are the Greeks also part of this humanity on whose behalf the museum is holding the Parthenon Sculptures?
    As far as the rest of the world is concerned, the majority of States through their representatives in the United Nations and UNESCO have in countless resolutions decided that the sculptures should be returned to Athens. So for which humanity is the British Museum working?
    The British Government and the British Museum appear never to have seriously considered the possibility of resolving the Parthenon dispute. One can understand that when a party has no real chance of winning a fair game that it is not interested in entering the game. But is this attitude to be expected from States that are often telling others to follow the law and emphasize the need for democracy? Can there be democracy without a willingness to submit disputes with other States to the rule of Law and other peaceful methods of dispute settlement?
    The double refusal by the British Government and the British Museum is surely not the last word on the question of the Parthenon Marbles which they both admit are Greek. Praising the grandeur and the legacy of Greek civilization but at the same time refusing to let the Greeks have their cultural artefacts so that they could also celebrate that legacy can surely not be right.
    Kwame Opoku, 4 April, 2015