LONDON (AP) – The British Museum has pledged not to dismantle its collection, following a report that the institution’s chairman has held secret talks with Greece’s Prime Minister over the return of the Parthenon Sculptures, also known as the Elgin Marbles.
The report by the Greek newspaper Ta Nea is the latest twist in the long-running dispute over ownership of the ancient sculptures, which originally stood on the Acropolis in Athens and have been a centrepiece of the British Museum’s collection since 1816.
Ta Nea reported on Saturday that negotiations between museum Chairman George Osborne and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis have been taking place since November 2021 and are at an advanced stage.
While the museum didn’t deny that talks have taken place, a spokesman refused to discuss the specifics of the Ta Nea story. The museum said it was prepared to “talk to anyone, including the Greek government” about a new Parthenon “partnership”. The Greek government offered no comment on the report.