British Museum says in ‘constructive’ discussions over Parthenon marbles


The British Museum said on Wednesday it was holding "constructive discussions" with Greece over the Parthenon Sculptures amid renewed speculation that the 2,500-year-old marbles could soon be returned to Athens.

Greece has repeatedly called for the permanent return of the sculptures that British diplomat Lord Elgin removed from the imposing Parthenon temple in Athens in the early 19th century, when he was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which then ruled Greece.

The Greek government said last month it was in talks over their repatriation, and Britain's Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday that an agreement had been drawn up between the museum's chairman, former finance minister George Osborne, to allow them to be returned as part of an exchange deal.

The paper reported such an arrangement, which would in effect be a loan arrangement, could be concluded soon....

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