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Greece reiterates case for return of Parthenon Sculptures before UNESCO panel 

Greece presented its case for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures at a session of an UNESCO committee that met in Paris on 29-31 May, the Culture Ministry said on Saturday.

“The Parthenon Sculptures and the symbolism they contain are an integral part of the Greek cultural heritage and the Greek cultural identity,” the Greek delegation told the Intergovernmental Committee for the Return of Cultural Property (ICPRCP) to the countries of origin. It also called on the United Kingdom, which is a member for the first time, “to demonstrate in practice the will to comply with the Committee’s recommendations and decisions.”

The Greek arguments “were warmly received by the vast majority of the member states of the Intergovernmental Committee,” the ministry said. 

On its side, the United Kingdom reiterated that the existing legislative framework does not allow the return of the Sculptures to Greece.

At the end of the session, the UNESCO panel invited again both countries to conform with the previous recommendations and “continue making all necessary efforts in order to find an equally acceptable solution.”

The case of the Parthenon Sculptures was first submitted to the Committee in 1984. Since then, the Committee has been examining the case during each of its sessions, adopting 18 recommendations for a mutually acceptable solution.