Parthenon Row: Sunak Cancels Meeting with Greek PM

Parthenon Row: Sunak Cancels Meeting with Greek PM
Image copyright: Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Facts

  • Greek Prime Miniter Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday voiced his "annoyance" at his UK counterpart Rishi Sunak's last-minute cancellation of a meeting to discuss the future of the Parthenon Marbles — Greek sculptures exhibited at the British Museum that Athens has long sought be repatriated.

  • Sunak's spokesman said that it would "not be productive" to hold the talks, claiming Greece had broken the promise not to use Mitsotakis' UK visit to publicly relitigate the matter. This comes after Mitsotakis described the artifacts as "essentially stolen" in a BBC interview on Sunday.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

The position of the UK regarding the status of the marbles has always been crystal-clear: any agreement to loan the sculptures out will be between Greece and the British Museum alone. Sunak had every right to cancel his meeting with his Greek counterpart over his flagrant disregard for this status quo, instead insisting on stirring up nationalist tensions to score cheap points against the British.

Establishment-critical narrative

The Parthenon Marbles are an indelible part of Greece's cultural heritage and must be returned with due haste. The marbles were lifted from Greece thanks to an agreement with the occupying Ottoman Empire, with the arrangement never reflecting the will of the Greek people. Most Brits themselves believe the marbles should be returned to Greece, with a potential repatriation being the ultimate testament to the historically strong relationship between Greece and the UK.

Metaculus Prediction

Public figures in this story

Establishment split



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