Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Cloony-Murray: Britain should hand the treasures back to Greece

George Clooney and Bill Murray, stars of The Monuments Men, have waded into the long-running row over the Elgin Marbles by saying Britain should hand the treasures back to Greece.
The classical sculptures were taken from the Parthenon in Athens by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century. They were acquired by parliament in 1816 and currently reside in the British Museum.
David Cameron has opposed calls for their return, but some of Hollywood’s big names have urged him to reconsider.
Clooney and Murray offered their opinions at a London press conference for their new film, The Monuments Men, in which they play members of an Allied team tasked with retrieving artworks looted by the Nazis.
Asked about the Elgin Marbles, Murray said: "They’ve had a very nice stay here, certainly. London’s gotten crowded. There's plenty of room back there in Greece.
"England can take the lead on this kind of thing - letting art go back where it came from."
He added in deadpan style: "The Greeks are nothing but generous. They would loan it back once in a while."
The subject first came up for Clooney at a Berlin Film Festival press conference over the weekend, when a Greek reporter pressed him on the subject. His comments were seized upon by those who believe the treasures were stolen and should be returned to their original home.

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