Gransnet forums


disrespectful Rishi Sunak

(120 Posts)
infoman Tue 28-Nov-23 07:11:17

to the Greek PM,
for not meeting the Greek PM to discuss the Elgin Marbles.

The Elgin marbles were rescued from the Ottoman invasion of Greece by the British in the early 1800's.
The Marbles are now on display in the British museum,
and Greece want them back.
In my opinion the marbles should be returned to Greece.

BigBertha1 Tue 28-Nov-23 07:39:44

Definitely. Send them back.

Joseann Tue 28-Nov-23 07:44:34

Perhaps Rishi needed to brush up on his knowledge of the Aegean (Baltic) or Ionian (Black) Sea first! 😆

The Elgin Marbles should return to Greece.

TillyTrotter Tue 28-Nov-23 07:51:41

I am sure Sunak will have been advised by someone akin to Dominic Cummings.
It may prove to be poor advice.
Presumably the U.K. invited the Greek PM to our isles and it does seem rude to put off the meeting.

BlueBelle Tue 28-Nov-23 07:54:34

As they said on the radio perhaps he’s trying to miss out the headlines “Rishi loses his marbles”

Of course we should give them back and lots of other stuff we think we have a right to

Iam64 Tue 28-Nov-23 08:32:31

Love it BlueBelle.
Yes of course we should return them. There is the where would it end point

Shelflife Tue 28-Nov-23 08:35:53

Return them definitely.

DaisyAnneReturns Tue 28-Nov-23 08:39:10

Childish as well as disrespectful. He is man with little of substance about him.

nanna8 Tue 28-Nov-23 08:42:11

That debate about the marbles has been going on ever since I remember. The argument which I have heard against returning them is that the British look after them properly and the Greeks wouldn’t. Which is very condescending and actually rather racist when you think about it.

DaisyAnneReturns Tue 28-Nov-23 08:47:57

We are not actually suggesting returning them but them being on permanent loan - a little bit of diplomatic history in itself.

The Parthenon Project, which campaigns for a cultural partnership agreement, advocates the British Museum send the sculptures to the Parthenon Collection in the Acropolis Museum in Athens in return for what it calls "blockbuster artefacts that have never been seen outside Greece before".

The "blockbuster artefacts" would also be on loan to us.

MiniMoon Tue 28-Nov-23 08:48:54

There's a museum in Athens, opened in 2009 which is to display the marbles as they would have looked on the Parthenon. The statues were effectively stolen by Lord Elgin and ought to be given back.
The British museum has a cellar full of antiquities which are not displayed, so there wouldn't be a gap where the Elgin marbles were.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 28-Nov-23 09:08:47

I listened to the Greek PM’s interview with Laura Kuensberg on Sunday, I think he knew he was being baity in the interview.

Our PM would have taken advice , according to various reports I have seen the meeting was only scheduled for 45 minutes, not exactly a high priority one.

maddyone Tue 28-Nov-23 09:37:23

The Elgin Marbles should be returned to Greece.
No ifs, no buts, they should be returned.

maddyone Tue 28-Nov-23 09:39:25

He is a man with little substance about him.


eazybee Tue 28-Nov-23 09:42:47

The statues were not 'effectively stolen' by Lord Elgin. He was given permission to record them and take plaster casts; marble that fell from buildings was then burned to extract lime for building, so he sought and was given, permission to remove them to Malta by an official edict from the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, the civil governor of Athens and also the military commander, and again in 1810,
An investigation by a House of Commons select committee in 1816 cleared Elgin of removing the marbles illegally, done publicly 'before the whole world, local authorities and the Turkish Government. Elgin restored these marbles and saved them from destruction and the local population who would have destroyed them.
They were not looted, as were various other artefacts in Britain and other countries but removed legitimately.

ronib Tue 28-Nov-23 09:48:44

Thanks eazybee that’s great to know. However is there any argument for saying that having saved the Marbles all those years ago, it’s time to assume that the Greek nation can now be trusted to value and preserve their heritage?

maddyone Tue 28-Nov-23 09:50:13

Thank you for filling in the facts eazybee. I’m pleased to find out the truth. However I still think it’s time to return them to Greece now. Our caretaking role is over.

Witzend Tue 28-Nov-23 09:52:55

I do know the historical background but still feel they should now be returned. Presumably it would be perfectly possible (though not cheap) to create replicas that nobody who didn’t know, would be able to tell from the originals.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 28-Nov-23 09:53:12

You beat me eazybee I was just about to post the marbles story

Baggs Tue 28-Nov-23 10:27:40


That debate about the marbles has been going on ever since I remember. The argument which I have heard against returning them is that the British look after them properly and the Greeks wouldn’t. Which is very condescending and actually rather racist when you think about it.

How do Brits and Greeks differ racially?

Baggs Tue 28-Nov-23 10:28:50

Thank you for the historical facts, eazybee.

Baggs Tue 28-Nov-23 10:32:11

BTW, I have no opinion on whether the marbles should be returned to Greece. I'm sure there are very good reasons why they have not been. I'm also sure that Greece has very good reasons for wanting them.

I'm pretty sure it's not a simple right/wrong issue.

Baggs Tue 28-Nov-23 10:33:43

I think Rishi Sunak, like many of our current politicians, is disrespectful of Brits, never mind Greeks.

Callistemon21 Tue 28-Nov-23 10:41:42

Thank you eazybee, I should have read more about them.

Yes, it's time they were returned now, having rescued them, for which the Greek people are grateful, I'm sure, they now need to go back.

NotSpaghetti Tue 28-Nov-23 10:47:03

I think even these "historical facts" are still contested.

I don't know enough about it- but spoke years ago at some length to a scholar and a senior museum curator of such antiquities - he told me that much of the "documentation" is conveniently "missing", some is disputed and that the (known) original permissions to draw and take plaster casts did not appear to include cutting off works from the building.

His feeling was that work on items still in situ was to be undertaken on site and the permission to remove items was not including the works attached to the walls.

Obviously I can't remember the whole conversation but I'm not prepared to simply say these are legal and we should keep them.
There is some evidence that Elgin wanted them for himself.