The Greek government has offered to send some ‘most important’ artifacts to the British Museum if the Parthenon Marbles are returned.
Speaking to The Guardian, Lina Mendoni (Greek Culture Minister) made assurances that there would be a trade agreement to compensate the British Museum if they agreed to return the Parthenon Marbles. The agreement would involve sending some important Greek artifacts to the UK temporarily. She said: “Our position is clear. Should the sculptures be reunited in Athens, Greece is prepared to organize rotating exhibitions of important antiquities that would fill the void. [The works] would fill the void, maintain, and constantly renew, international visitor interest in the Greek galleries of the British Museum.”
Mendoni did not elaborate on which artifacts they are considering to send as a replacement. However, she did re-iterate on the fact that such an agreement would only be possible if the UK government return the Parthenon Marbles under terms agreeable to the Greek government. So far, no one from the UK government has responded to the offer.
All through the year, the saga of Parthenon Marbles saw some interesting developments, only to frustratingly return to square one each time. Earlier this year, the UK government discussed the possibility of sharing the ancient work of art with Greece on a rotating basis; however, Greece promptly rejected the idea and emphasized that the Parthenon Marbles solely belonged to them. The idea is not new – recently revealed documents suggest that former UK prime minister Tony Blair also entertained the idea of loaning the artifacts to Greece. However, it seems now that both countries have returned to the same deadlock they had at the beginning of the year – the UK would not agree to permanently let go of the Parthenon Marbles, while Greece would not entertain any sharing or loan agreement.