Several US representatives have requested that the Committee on Foreign Affairs hold a hearing on the long-running dispute over the Parthenon Marbles being returned to Athens. The subject has resurfaced over the last year due to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union following the referendum of 2016. The country is due to officially exit the EU in March 2019.
Co-chairs of the Hellenic Caucus, US Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Gus Bilirakis and Hellenic Caucus Member Donald Payne Jr wrote of their belief that the British Museum, where the marbles have been housed since Lord Elgin looted the Parthenon, should return them to Athens.
“These sculptures are ancient symbols of Greek heritage, culture, and art. Greeks and visitors should be able to experience and enjoy the entire frieze in Greece in the way it was intended and originally designed around the Temple of Athena. Passing the resolution would send a clear signal to both countries that the United States is committed to the fair return of these invaluable historical artifacts,” they wrote in their request.
The statement to the committee reiterated the Greek government’s willingness to work diplomatically with the UK government to reach an agreement.