British Museum Director Offers “Parthenon Partnership”

Director Jonathan Williams says that the British Museum would like to "change the temperature" of the debate.

In a report published yesterday, the Guardian writes that the deputy director of the British Museum Jonathan Williams, told the Sunday Times Culture Magazine that he he proposes a “Parthenon partnership” with Greece.

Williams said: “What we are calling for is an active ‘Parthenon partnership’ with our friends and colleagues in Greece. I firmly believe there is space for a really dynamic and positive conversation within which new ways of working together can be found.”


Despite the fact that the British Museum has not said it will return the controversial Parthenon marbles to their country of origin, Williams told the Sunday Times magazine that he would like to “change the temperature of the debate,” and that the ideal for the ongoing situation would be to “find a way forward around the cultural exchange of a level, intensity and dynamism which has not been conceived hitherto.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has made numerous efforts to negotiate the return of the sculptures, including an idea that would involve loaning the British Museum different Greek relics to present there in exchange for the marbles. In the interview, Williams said: “There are many wonderful things we’d be delighted to borrow and lend. It is what we do.”

The Acropolis Museum director, Nikolaos Stampolidis, said there could be a “basis for constructive talks” with the “positive Parthenon partnership” offer, adding, “In the difficult days we are living in, returning them would be an act of history. It would be as if the British were restoring democracy itself.

Source: The Guardian

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