In recent years the constant changes in Greek government have resulted in a parade of Culture Ministers and other government officials, each expressing their own views on the matter of reunification. At any given time a Minister’s view tends to become that of the whole government, but in the long run it is hard to have a unified approach to this important matter, when government changes result in a conflict of approaches.
It was with no surprise, therefore, that last week the current Minister of Culture, Mr Baltas announced that Greece would not be going down the litigation route:
Greece is no longer mulling court action to win back the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum in London, Culture Minister Aristides Baltas said Tuesday, adding that the government would kick-start a diplomatic campaign to repatriate the 5th century BC statues.
Mr Baltas became the new Culture Minister following the September elections in Greece. His predecessor Mr Xydakis, now Foreign Minister for European Affairs, had in the past made a similar statement before retracting it.
Mr Baltas‘ main reason for rejecting litigation as he put it is because:
we risk losing the case
But is this a personal assessment or has he taken into account the legal study offered by the Doughty Street legal team? In any case there is a big difference between considering the possibility of litigation and actually proceeding with it. Would it perhaps have been wiser to leave the possibility of litigation open? Or could such an action weaken diplomatic relations between Greece and Britain.
Mr Baltas also stated that the Greek government:
would kick-start a diplomatic campaign to repatriate the 5th century BC statues.
The international community awaits the new diplomatic initiatives, which the International Association for Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures and Marbles Reunited as an active member, will aim to support. One thing is for certain, the campaign for reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures is as strong as ever.