19 February, 2004
Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) Eurodeputy Alekos Alavanos on Wednesday won the support of 208 Eurodeputies from various political groups in co-signing a letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, requesting the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens.
The letter's authors argued that a large part of British public opinion supports the Marbles' return, stating ''81% of those surveyed in a recent poll and 90% of British museum employees, according to a survey conducted by their association, respond favorably to the request for the Parthenon Marbles to be returned to Athens some time in 2004.''
The letter also stated, ''we request that your government give positive consideration to Greece's request regarding the return of the Marbles and that it contribute to the restoration of the Acropolis Monument.''
Alavanos stressed that ''within a Europe that has become united, without boundaries, it is not tolerable that the Parthenon - characterized as a unique monument by UNESCO - remains divided and mutilated.''
Source: Athens News Agency