Greek Archbishop asks Pope Benedict for a piece of the Acropolis

I missed this last week, but Greek Archbishop Christodoulos, in his first official visit to the Vatican, asked Pope Benedict XVI to return a piece of the Parthenon currently housed in the Vatican Museums. Benedict was initially confused by the request, perhaps because he was not aware of the piece. The Pope said he would consider the request. The push is part of an ongoing Greek effort to seek the return of the various pieces of the Parthenon. A comment on this blog last week suggested that Greece is trying to work slowly, and regain the smaller pieces first, from sources which might be more inclined to Greece’s requests. The idea makes sense, and is probably the best strategy for Greece to pursue. If they can gather momentum from all of these smaller bits and pieces, perhaps pressure will mount on the British Museum to return their Parthenon sculptures. It’s an interesting strategy, but I’m not sure anything can be done to persuade the British Museum to relinquish the marbles.

Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

1 thought on “Greek Archbishop asks Pope Benedict for a piece of the Acropolis”

  1. I find it highly amusing that the Archbishop of Athens would now petition his Roman counterpart on this matter, when in fact it was almost certainly one of his predecessors who was responsible for the wanton destruction of many of the Parthenon sculptures, in the 5th or 6th c. AD.
    As for the new Greek strategy, it is rather methodical than “slow”, and it does not preclude a continuous and even an increased direct pressure on the British Museum.

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