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GRReporter readers support the return of the Parthenon Marbles but do not trust the Clooney family

09 December 2014 / 17:12:20  GRReporter
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The saga between Greece and the UK associated with the artefacts from the Parthenon that are in the British Museum has a long history. It started in the 19th century, when Lord Elgin bought them from the Turkish government at the time and exported them from Greece. It would not be an exaggeration to call it a "saga" and define it, in good conscience at that, not only as "historical" but also as "modern". We have recently informed you on its latest developments that already involve celebrities from Hollywood, in the persons of George and Amal Clooney. We can add that London mayor Boris Johnson described the statements of Clooney as "Hitlerian" after the actor supported the efforts of the Greek state to reunite the artefacts. The news that the British Museum has sent some of the controversial sculptures to the Hermitage has given the latest outlines of the situation in view of the fact that the statues have not left the UK over the past 200 years, thus provoking the Greek Prime Minister’s sharp reaction.

Therefore, it is clear why our last poll asked about your attitude towards this international case. The responses in our three language versions reflect the general commitment of our readers to the cause of the Greek state.
80% of the voters in the Bulgarian version support the idea that the return of the marbles is an act of justice, as they were stolen. 12% are of the opinion that it is better for them to remain in London because more people have the opportunity to see them there. Only 7% of readers believe that this will be a precedent and it will become the reason for the emptying of major museums and 1% that the help of the Clooney family will result in the return of the artefacts to Greece.

The situation with the readers vote in the English version of the website is similar. 77% support the return of the marble bas-reliefs, 12% support the idea of them remaining in the British Museum, which will allow more people to see them. 9% perceive their return to Greece as a threat to the existence of major museums and only 2% appreciate the support of the Hollywood family as a decisive factor in unravelling the complex case.

The results in the Greek version are almost the same, with one small exception. Again, 80% voted for the return of the marble statues, 12% for keeping them in the British Museum and 8% perceive the case as a dangerous precedent that may empty museums. The slight difference is that no reader of the Greek version has voted in favour of the role that Amal Clooney and her husband, actor George Clooney, will play in resolving the tangled dispute.

Let us recall that the London lawyer who has the appearance of an actress has been fighting for the cause of returning the Parthenon marbles for more than 3 years, even before her relationship with the famous Hollywood actor. Another interesting fact is that the attraction of famous international stars and the attempts to drive the international cultural elite to side with the Greek state have embarrassed the British Museum for the first time. The case has drawn public attention and the pieces of research conducted among the British themselves show that the majority of them are for the return of the disputed marbles.

Our new poll turns the attention to a more painful matter, especially in views of the renewed wave of self-immolations and hunger strikes in Bulgaria and Greece: Do extreme forms of protest such as burning oneself to death and hunger strikes make sense?

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