An important decision, urging the British side to reconsider its position on the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece, which, as reported, legally claims them, was issued by UNESCO, after the completion of the 17 Session of the Intergovernmental Commission.

In fact, this is the first time that a relevant text in the form of a decision is voted unanimously, which specifically concerns the clear support of the Greek side for the repatriation of the Sculptures.

According to an announcement by the Ministry of Culture, The work of the 17 of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Commission for the Return of Cultural Property to the Countries of Origin (ICPRCP) was completed yesterday, Wednesday. One of the main items on the Commission's agenda was the issue of the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures (Greece v. The United Kingdom), which is firmly on its agenda from 450, when it was first introduced by Melina Mercouri. which is Decision 35 COM 17)) , exclusively aimed at the issue of the return of the Parthenon Sculptures.

The Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, after the completion of the work of the Intergovernmental Committee, made the following statement:

« Greece's request for the final return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens is constantly on the agenda of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Return of Cultural Property to the Countries of Origin (ICPRCP), by 450, when it was first posed by Melina Mercouri, until today.

In 22 the Summit, which ended last night, Greece succeeded, in parallel with the publication of the Recommendation – which refers to the poor exhibition conditions of the Sculptures in the British Museum – the publication, for the first time Decision of the Intergovernmental Commission, which specifically concerns the issue of the return of the Parthenon Sculptures. The Commission urges the United Kingdom to reconsider its position and to negotiate with Greece, acknowledging that the matter is intergovernmental – contrary to the British side's claim that the case concerns the British Museum – and in particular that Greece is claiming rightly and legally the Return of the Sculptures to the native land. Both texts, of the Recommendation and of the Decision, are a particularly important development in the completely legal claim of our country.

I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the members of the Greek delegation, as well as of our Permanent Representation UNESCO, which with particular commitment to the goal of the final return of the Sculptures, worked systematically and achieved this extremely positive result “.

The added value of the Decision is that the Commission expresses its strong dissatisfaction the fact that the issue remains unresolved due to the UK stance. In addition, it urges the United Kingdom to reconsider its position and enter into a bona fide dialogue with Greece, emphasizing the intergovernmental nature of the dispute. of the fact that the Duveen Gallery, in the British Museum, where the Parthenon Sculptures are exhibited is closed to the public, due to the necessary work of restoration of its damage.

Greece's just request for The return of the Parthenon Sculptures was strongly supported by the majority of the members of the Commission.

Greece was represented, by the Ministry of Culture, by the Secretary General of Culture, George Didaskalou, the Director General of the Acropolis Museum, Nikolaos Stampolidis, the Head of the Directorate of Documentation and Protection of Cultural Property, Vasiliki Papageorgiou. From the side of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, from the legal advisor of the Special Legal Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Artemis Papathanassiou.

-