Can This Opinion Poll Bring the Elgin Marbles Back to Greece?

The western frieze of the Parthenon Marbles, on view at the British Museum in London. Photo by Urban, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

The Greek government continues to conceive creative and unorthodox methods to secure the repatriation of the Elgin marbles (also known as the Parthenon Marbles), in a bid to win one of the longest running international cultural disputes.

Art Daily reports that the Greek government has installed a polling system at Athens airport asking tourists to answer “yes” or “no” to whether or not they support the return of the priceless sculptures.

Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin, brought the Parthenon Marbles to Britain over 200 years ago. The marbles remain on display in the British Museum, London. But Greece has long campaigned for their return.

Last month, Greek heritage officials landed a PR coup by enlisting the human rights lawyer and wife of George Clooney, Amal Alamuddin Clooney, to provide legal counsel to the government on the reclamation of the marbles.

The move towards an increasingly PR-based strategy demonstrates that Greece is shifting the focus of its long-running campaign to raising awareness and garnering popular support from the international community.

Greece has nevertheless made it clear that it will await the conclusion of the latest round of talks, mediated by UNESCO, before taking legal action to reclaim what it views as an essential part of its cultural history.

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