Hollywood actor George Clooney has called for Britain to return artefacts such as the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, saying it is ‘the right thing to do’.
The 52-year-old actor was speaking at a press conference in Berlin for his new film The Monuments Men, in which he stars as part of a World War II squad who save art treasures from the Nazis.
Asked by a Greek journalist if the artefacts in the British Museum – also known as the Elgin Marbles – should be returned to Greece, he said: ‘I think you have a very good case to make about your artefacts.
‘Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing if they were returned. I think that is a good idea.
‘I think that would be a very fair and very nice thing. Yeah, I think it is the right thing to do.’
The marbles were acquired by Lord Elgin during his time as an ambassador to the Ottoman court of the Sultan in Istanbul. They were bought by the British parliament and handed to the British Museum in 1816.
The collection has proved controversial with some claiming that Elgin took it without the proper authority.
A British Museum spokeswoman told The Indepedent ‘anybody is entitled to their view’ but the museum’s trustees had ‘always been very clear that they feel there’s a public benefit to having the sculptures in our collection remain part of our collection’.