14 January, 2004
LONDON 14/01/2004 (ANA/L. Tsirigotakis)
British former foreign secretary Robin Cook, in a full-page article in London's Evening Standard newspaper on Tuesday, calls on the British government to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece in light of the publication of an opinion poll on Wednesday according to which 80 percent of Britons agree with their return.
''The curators of the British Museum can react personally to the return of the Marbles but they have no right to ignore the wishes of the citizens who they represent as curators of the Museum,'' Cook said, adding that it is not logical and wise on the part of the curators of Museums to undermine London's effort to contest the 2012 Olympic Games with their refusal.
''This year is the year in which the Olympic Games will be held in Athens and, at the same time, the campaign of candidate cities for the Olympiad of 2012 will begin,'' he said in his article.
Cook also says the return of the Marbles will restore the unity of the splendid cultural monument that the Parthenon is.
''If they had dismembered our statue of Nelson and had left us with only the stomach and his legs and his remaining body somewhere else I do not think that anybody would be at ease until the reunification of the statue was restored. Since, therefore, the Parthenon cannot be moved to Russell Square, where the British Museum is, the solution is for the Parthenon Marbles to return to Athens,'' the former foreign secretary stressed.
Source: Athens News Agency