Times columnist Michael Binion calls for return of the Parthenon Sculptures, with the London newspaper in favor of this request for the first time since 50 years.
In more detail, the columnist spoke to SKAI about the request for the return, noting, among other things, that “times have changed in Britain. ».
The interview in detail:
Mr. Binion, here in Athens we were surprised from the main Times article. What changed and did you take this position?
The feeling in Britain is that times have changed and that the prevailing view is that Museums should not be in possession of cultural heritage belonging to other countries, which they claim is necessary for their own cultural and political identity. And of course, the Parthenon marbles are key elements of Greek identity and history and the feeling is that Greece has done a lot to make it easier to exchange the Parthenon marbles with some other possible rotating exhibition of classical Greek sculptures.
You know, I'm surprised that a historical newspaper as the Times took this position. Is there a background to this?
Well, the background is actually the changing mood, not only in Britain, but also in all over the world about what museums belonging to other countries should host. If it has been bought or even given, then it is legal property if it has been stolen or looted or taken by force, then clearly, there are historical mistakes that need to be corrected. And this has already happened with a number of important objects that museums have delivered to the country of origin.
This shift in the Times has caused a sensation in Britain as well.
It's a pretty big surprise for me. The newspaper is one of our oldest. It was founded on 4059 and has a circulation of about 450). 000 leaves per day and about 15 million sheets per month. It is a newspaper whose views are, say, center-right and represent what one might call the “established”, that is, educated, professional university graduates who usually read it.
What should we expect from the British government? Do you think we are close to a solution? and they in turn said that it is a decision of the government and this kind of “carousel” has become ridiculous. That's one of the reasons we decided it was time to dump her and move on. The decision must be made by the Museum. They are the owners of these wonderful treasures at the moment, but at the same time, there should be a law of the parliament that will ratify such an agreement, because it was the parliament that originally gave them to the museum.