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Greece says ‘damp’ in British Museum is insult to Parthenon sculptures

Greece has pressed for a long time for the ancient works to be repatriated

Alleged damp in a section of the British Museum housing the Parthenon sculptures is an “insult” to the 2,500-year-old works, Greece’s culture minister has said.

Lina Mendoni’s comments on Wednesday followed publication in Greek media of photos ostensibly showing damp and mould stains on the hall’s ceiling, which suffered a minor leak during a rainstorm last year.

Greece has pressed for a long time for the ancient works to be repatriated.

Mendoni said the “picture of neglect” at the London museum “strengthens Greece’s just demand” for the sculptures’ return.

The two-month-old conservative government in Athens has revived the demand, seeking a loan of the works also known as the Elgin Marbles in 2021.

Greece says the marbles were illegally removed from the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis during the Ottoman Turkish occupation of Greece in the early 1800s.

The British Museum rejects that.

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