Britain and Greece could strike 'deal' to share Elgin Marbles, George Osborne tells LBC

15 June 2022, 12:42 | Updated: 15 June 2022, 12:48

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Elgin Marbles could be shared with Greece and there is a “deal to be done”, the chairman of the British Museum George Osborne has told LBC.

The former Chancellor was answering a question from Andrew Marr about the fate of the Elgin Marbles which have been the focus of a long-running diplomatic row between London and Athens.

Mr Osborne told LBC there is a “deal to be done” with Greece over a sharing arrangement which could see the ancient artworks divided between London and Athens.

Greece has been vocal about demanding the marble sculptures, once situated in the ancient Greek Parthenon temple, are returned to Athens.

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The sculpture has been the focus of a row between the UK and Greece
The sculpture has been the focus of a row between the UK and Greece. Picture: Alamy

Speaking to LBC Mr Osbourne hinted a deal could be reached where the ancient artefacts could be displayed in both countries.

"The Elgin Marbles, the Parthenon sculptures, they're an amazing testament to human civilization.

"In the British Museum, they tell a story about civilization compared to all the other civilizations, China, India, other parts of Mediterranean.

"In Greece, they tell the story, just Greek civilization.

"I think there's a deal to be done, but I think there's a deal to be done where we can tell both stories in Athens and in London."

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He added: "If we both approach this without a load of preconditions without a load of red lines, and we sit down as sensible people because I think sensible people can arrange something that makes the most of the path novels, but if either side says there's no give at all, then there won't be a deal."

The question was posed on Tuesday's Tonight with Andrew Marr
The question was posed on Tuesday's Tonight with Andrew Marr. Picture: LBC

Andrew Marr quizzed Mr Osborne asking if this could mean "you would move some of them to Greece at last for a while, and then back to London".

Mr Osborne replied: "That kind of arrangement. Sensible people should come up with something where you can see them in their splendour in Athens, and see them among the splendours of other civilisations in London".

The Elgin Marbles are a set of ancient Greek sculptures taken to Britain more than 200 years ago and now on show in the British Museum.