Today, World Culture Day, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, in good cooperation with the International Committees for the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures, opens a new dynamic page in the claim for their return to Greece. An explosion of neo-Hellenism is noted in letters sent to the Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, by the Presidents of the Committees, who, in view of 2021, are proposing coordinated pressure on the British Museum to decide on the return of Parthen’s sculptors. their place, in Athens.
For the first time since the establishment of the International Committees, such a similar expression of enthusiasm has been expressed for the message sent around the world by the reopening of the Acropolis Archaeological Site, after 64 days of silence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 18, when the President of the Republic, Mrs. Katerina Sakellaropoulou, accompanied by the Minister of Culture and Sports, in a highly symbolic move, opened the only archaeological site of the Acropolis, the message of classical culture shone again around the world, as stable. value of Humanity. The repercussions of the symbolic movement of the Ministry of Culture were enormous. Praise for the success of Greece in limiting the pandemic and warm messages from the Committees with the common goal of the final return of the Sculptures to Greece, stating that “without culture, we live in silence and darkness.”
The Presidents of the International Committees, who are working tirelessly to reunite the Parthenon Sculptures, seeing in the media of their own countries, the opening of the Acropolis monument to become the first news, declare their support in the fight for the return of the creations. of Pheidias, where they belong. “Without the supreme symbol of civilization, the Parthenon, Western civilization cannot exist and this symbol deserves to be reunited with its expatriate sculptures” is the message that inspires the letters sent to the Minister of Culture, expressing the desire of the Committees. actions should be taken by the Ministry of Culture and the Government, so that the opening of the unique archaeological site of the Acropolis marks the beginning of a new campaign for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, in the spirit of the new solidarity of l after the pandemic, through Culture.
In a letter, British Commission President Dame Janet Suzman congratulated the President of the Republic and the Minister of Culture on the brave opening of the sacred rock, “at a time when the British Museum is still closed. Perhaps it is an opportunity, “he writes,” to reflect on the UK on cultural policy issues. Otherwise, British museums will now be considered obsolete colonial institutions. After all, all the polls show that the vast majority of Britons have been, for decades, clearly in favour of the return of the Marbles to their homeland. ”
The Vice President of the Australian Commission, Elly Symons, writes: born in Greece, carved in Pentelic marble and carved in the Acropolis, creating the most valuable architecture of Western Culture, the Parthenon. This is the biggest art crime in history. Its restoration will honour the friendship between England and Greece. This flawless beauty lives only in the Attic light. The reunification of the Sculptures in Athens is an artistic, cultural and moral imperative “.
The presidents, Messrs. David Hill and G Vardas, of the other Australian Commission, expressed their full support for the work of the Ministry of Culture. “We should all want to serve the monument of the monuments,” Mr Hill said. Mr Vardas believes that “the stay of the Sculptures in the British Museum manages to reduce even the grandeur of the Sculptures themselves when their exhibition is deprived of their essence: Only in Attic light do they gain meaning”.
The President of the Swedish Commission, Mr. Krister Kumlin, puts the Commission’s forces on the side of the Minister of Culture and Sports, stating that “the return of the Parthenon Martyrs is a matter of principle and respect for our past. The Commission urges us to immediately resume talks between the Greek and British sides to find a solution in view of 2021. ”
The presidents of the newly formed Luxembourg Commission, Messrs. Edouard Wolter and Francois Roelands du Vivier consider that “the question is when will the expatriate sections of the Parthenon return to Athens and not if they will return. The whole world must stand firmly on the side of the Greek government in order to speed up the procedures. ”
Mr. Demosthenes Valavanidis, Chairman of the Serbian Commission, and Vice President Ines Kljakovic-Misovic stated that “as part of the UNESCO ResiliArt initiative, which provides advice on major cultural issues, art brings us closer than ever. That is why we must take new initiatives to reunite the Parthenon Sculptures. The ongoing fragmentation simply reinforces discrimination, injustice, stagnation, social division and disintegration. Now is the time for reflection and action. ”
The President of the Cyprus Committee, Ms. Anna Marangou, welcomes the initiative of the Minister of Culture to open the Acropolis and stands by the Ministry of Culture for the best days to come. “Now,” he says, “global calls for the return of Sculptures must become the headlines in the media. The Cyprus Commission is uniting its voice in Greece’s just demand for the restoration of the world’s most emblematic World Heritage Site. ”
Alexandra Pistofidou, President of the Austrian Commission, writes that “the countries of the European Union must think about their past and learn from it about their present and future. Europe needs to reunite its most powerful symbol, the Parthenon, in the name of morality, democracy, freedom and higher values. ”
The chairman of the Swiss Commission, Dusan Sidjanski, stresses that “European leaders want to rebuild Europe after the pandemic and the economic crisis. The unity of Europe requires the emblematic movement with the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures and the restoration of the integrity of this outstanding monument. It is time for a noble and moral initiative that Britain must take. ”
Mr. Lefteris Karmiris, of the American Commission, declares “his support for the law and moral demand for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, a symbol of Western civilization.” The commission had planned an event at the US Capitol, which was postponed due to the coronation.
The chairman of the Russian Commission, Irina Korobina, writes that “the new opening of the Acropolis marks a new era for the Parthenon worldwide. The pandemic proved the fragility of the world around us. The only hope for survival and salvation is culture and dignity. The international community has a duty to protect the Parthenon and all worthy and honest people are in favour of its reunification. ”
Messrs. Emanuel Comino and Russel Darnley of the Australian Commission point out that “now the British government has the opportunity to play a leading role, to correct an injustice and to return the Sculptures to Greece.”
Ms. Celina Lage, of the Brazilian Commission, stressed that “the code of ethics of the ICOM International Council of Museums requires cooperation between museum organizations under the principles of international conventions for the protection of cultural property.” It’s time for the British Museum to work with the Acropolis Museum to get the Sculptures back to where they belong.
The chairman of the Italian Commission, Mr. Louis Godart, in his letter to the Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, notes that with the opening of the Acropolis, “everyone is once again gathering their thoughts in the Parthenon to gain strength and courage afterwards. the quarantine and the new challenges that arise. The lessons that the Parthenon teaches us are lessons of courage, strength and respect if one considers that it was built in times when the civilized world must be rebuilt after the Persian invasions. Andre Malraux, since 1959, has emphasized that this unique monument is inhabited by spirit and courage. And today we are drawing the highest messages from the Parthenon. All that remains for England is to honour these highest values by repatriating the Marbles. ”
Finally, the President of the Association of International Committees for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles and President of the Belgian Commission Mr. Christiane Tytgat in her letter to the Minister of Culture notes that “the day the Acropolis reopened was a bittersweet moment for everyone. Joy for the opening and sadness that the sculptures remain dismembered in the glorious hall of the new Acropolis Museum because the rest of the British Museum has not yet returned. We have a lot to learn from such a moment. Classical Athens faced the deadly famine, in which Pericles himself was lost, but the Parthenon was completed to transmit the eternal glory of the classical spirit. Only in Athens, the sculptures of the Parthenon can be properly exhibited in their natural and historical environment, and in fact in the Acropolis Museum, which is now recognized as one of the most important museums in the world. The reunification of the Parthenon Marbles is a moral necessity, and the British side would only benefit if it agreed to the global community’s demand for the reunification of the Parthenon sculptures. The request for the Marbles has now become global, and even UNESCO itself strongly supports the need to resolve the issue by returning the sculptures through negotiations between the two sides. BREXIT leads Britain into isolation and the scope of the British Museum is now weakening. But European countries need the symbolism of the Parthenon now more than ever. ”
IARPS, the World Union for the Reunification of Parthenon Sculptures, brings together 21 National Committees and supports the efforts of the Greek government.
Today, May 21, World Culture Day, the Minister of Culture and Sports, at the urging of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, opens a new chapter in the claim of the Parthenon Martyrs. It forms a new Advisory Committee for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, chaired by Mr. Christoforos Argyropoulos. At the same time, a new round of communication with the Foreign Committees for better coordination of the issue begins.
Ms. Lina Mendoni decided to convene an international meeting of all the Committees, at the beginning of next year, for the better coordination and support of a new international campaign organized by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.