The famous British actor, writer, journalist and comedian, Stephen Fry, in his speech during a debate organised by Intelligence Squared, strongly supported the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens.
The artist used strong arguments explaining why the Marbles should be returned to Greece. He talked briefly about the history of Parthenon and about the way the Marbles were transferred in Britain. He said that British culture is based on the Greek civilization, and talked about the influential contributions of Greece to the western civilization in areas such as philosophy, mathematics, history, astronomy and justice. Finally, he added: “Let’s be a classy country. Let’s make an exhibition in the British Museum, of which we would be fantastically proud, that will show the conservation of the Marbles and their transport to the magnificent new Acropolis Museum where they can be reunited with the blue light of Greece. We can show Greek people, that despite the fact that the economic crisis shows that they owe us, we will never be able to repay the debt that we owe to Greece.”
The Parthenon Marbles, currently on display at the British Museum, were once part of the Parthenon temple situated on the Acropolis. Thomas Bruce, 7th earl of Elgin, received permission to remove parts of the Parthenon while serving as British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Some historians believe that Elgin legally took the marbles while others claim that they should be returned to Athens.