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‘A landmark cultural partnership’

Commenting on recent developments surrounding the Parthenon Sculptures, Stephen Fry, the acclaimed British actor and member of the Parthenon Project’s Advisory Board, said the following:

“It’s heartening to see the Parthenon Sculptures thrust into the public spotlight, albeit because of the prime minister’s recent dubious diplomatic decision. Yet it’s clear that policy makers, the British public and the media are increasingly supportive of calls to return these magnificent artifacts to Athens, where they can be reunified as an artistic work and displayed most appropriately in the context of the Acropolis.

“To make that vision a reality, we must move the debate away from the quagmire of the past and towards an imaginative future. That means agreeing to disagree on the notion of ownership and delivering a deal that is mutually enriching for both Greece and the UK and possible under the current law. We have proposed a landmark cultural partnership that would see the sculptures reunified in Athens whilst other blockbuster artifacts come to the British Museum for rotating exhibitions, enhancing the museum’s cultural offerings.

“Our approach would also see a nonprofit foundation established that would bring opportunities to young people and local communities and serve as a vehicle to drive much-needed fundraising for the refurbishment of the British Museum and the development of a new a Hellenic Gallery with state-of-the-art technology that can be used to attract new visitors. This could be mirrored in Greece with funding directed towards the fantastic Archaeological Museum. A forward-looking deal in this image goes beyond merely proposing an exchange of artifacts, and into a cultural collaboration that would inspire the next generation of classicists.”