A UNESCO committee for the return of cultural property “recognized for the first time the historical, cultural, legal and ethical aspects of the return by Britain of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece,” the Ministry of Culture said on Thursday.
The Intergovenmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation, as its full name is, met at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on May 30 and 31.
In another important decision, the Ministry of Culture said, the committee called on both sides to “find a mutually acceptable solution to this long-standing issue.”
According to the ministry, Greece’s position was supported by Argentina, Armenia, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Turkey and Zambia, among others. It was also the first time, it noted, that France expressed support for a solution through cooperation between both sides.
Greece was represented at the meeting by Culture Secretary General Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki, Acropolis Museum President Professor Dimitris Pandermalis and the Foreign Ministry’s legal council, Artemis Papathanassiou.
The Greek representatives stressed that “Greece will continue its effort towards the return to Greece and reunification of the sculptures, expressing the confident that this day is not far into the future, as shown by the strong support of public opinion globally, including the British one,” the ministry announcement said.