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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in his message for the opening of the exhibition “Cycladic Art: The Leonard N. Stern Collection on Loan from the Hellenic Republic” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, among other things, said:
“The preservation, protection and promotion of Greek antiquity is not only important, it is inviolable, a duty and a commitment that must never be broken. Yes, this means that part of my mission as Prime Minister is to ensure the return of Greek antiquities to Greece. But it also means that I have a duty to ensure that in this effort these collections are also made available to as wide a public as possible.
Today’s cooperation is the culmination of this pragmatism. This matters because others are watching and wondering what else is possible. I am of course talking about the Parthenon Sculptures. The most emblematic, the most important exhibit of Classical Greece at its peak, not all of which are in Greece today.
For the past two years, we have been in constructive discussions with the President of the British Museum about a possible new collaboration that would bring the two parts of the Sculptures together, as one, in Athens.
Let me be clear, we will insist on their reunification for many reasons, but one, in my opinion, is the most important: because only by seeing them together, in situ, in the shadow of the Acropolis, can we truly appreciate their immense cultural significance for Western civilisation.