Five women from the Greek island of Rhodes have taken the campaign to return the Parthenon Marbles the British Museum in London.
Iliana Katsanakou, Mary Philippaki, Anna Strati, Stella Hantzikonstantinou and Pigi-Sofia Moroyianni sported t-shirts reading ‘Bring Them Back!’ in front of the antiquities as part of an online campaign to raise one million signatures to have the issue debated in the European Parliament.
According to the Dimokratiki newspaper, Philippaki said despite their pride at the predominance of Greek culture at the museum, the presence of the marbles created “anger and indignation for the fact that they are away from home”.
Katsanakou said: “The Parthenon Marbles, along with all other Greek artifacts, speak directly to the soul of every Greek. For the rest of the visitors of the British Museum [they] are just artifacts. Out history belongs to us. It is high time the Parthenon Marbles returned to their home. They belong to Greece”.
Earlier this month members of the U.S. Congress’ Hellenic Caucus requested the Committee on Foreign Affairs hold a hearing on their House Resolution saying the Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Greece.
“These sculptures are ancient symbols of Greek heritage, culture, and art. Greeks and visitors should be able to experience and enjoy the entire frieze in Greece in the way it was intended and originally designed around the Temple of Athena.”
The letter reminds the committee that the Greek government has pledged to work diplomatically with the British government to reach an agreement regarding the Parthenon Marbles.