Can George Clooney’s Wife Rescue the Elgin Marbles?

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin.

Greek heritage officials have pulled a PR ace from their sleeve in a bid to win one the longest running cultural disputes over the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles, currently on display in London’s British Museum, the Guardian reported.

The Anglo-Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin-Clooney finally traveled to Athens on Monday to advise the Greek government on the reclamation of its cultural heritage. The preliminary talks were originally scheduled to take place in early September, but were postponed for the wedding of Alamuddin and the Hollywood actor George Clooney.

The Parthenon Marbles were brought to Britain over 200 years ago by Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin, and have been argued over ever since. The Greek culture minister Kostas Tasoulas told the Guardian “This is a unique monument of universal significance that can only be understood and admired if it is complete.”

The Parthenon Marbles are currently housed in the British Museum, London Photo: Gavin Collins via Wikimedia Commons

The Parthenon Marbles are currently housed in the British Museum, London.
Photo: Gavin Collins via Wikimedia Commons.

Since repatriation was first mentioned 40 years ago, British officials have argued that Athens did not have a sufficient space to present the treasures. Greece has since built a world-class exhibition space in view of the Acropolis to display the sculptures. Despite this the British Museum seems intent on keeping the treasured antiquities.

Greek officials hope that Alamuddin-Clooney’s star power will make the decisive difference. An anonymous policy maker told the Guardian: “There would be no better way of doing that than getting Hollywood involved and, hopefully, Clooney too.” Tasoulas agrees, adding “we need all the friends we can get.”

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