Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has weighed into a decades-long diplomatic debate while wrapping his trip to Greece.
Flanked by several government MPs including Nick Staikos, Mr Andrews called for the return of the contentious Parthenon marbles after touring the historic Acropolis.
“These magnificent friezes should never have been removed. They should come back, as a celebration of the Greeks’ contribution to our world,” the premier said yesterday.
The illustrious marble sculptures were taken from the site in the early 1800s by Lord Elgin, and are on permanent display at the British Museum.
The Greek government has demanded their return, with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos personally thanking the premier for his support as the two leaders sat down for talks.
Mr Andrews rejected arguments that returning the marbles could result in other museums being forced to surrender their artefacts.
“I don’t think the Parthenon marbles are any old artefacts, this is a unique set of circumstances,” he said. “They can be returned, they should be returned.”
Premier @DanielAndrewsMP has used Melbourne’s strong link to Greece to call on the British Government to return precious marble sculptures taken from the Parthenon. @BrendanDonohoe7 #7News pic.twitter.com/uSplxq1RTP
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) December 10, 2017