ATHENS – Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is set to meet a new team of lawyers – including George Clooney’s wife – who are preparing a legal case for the return of the stolen Parthenon Marbles housed in the British Museum.
Rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney and her colleague Geoffrey Robertson are due in Athens on Oct. 13 to discuss the legal arguments Greece can use in its bid to retrieve the marbles, although the British Museum and the British government have steadfastly refused to do so.
The British-based, Lebanese-born lawyer, who recently made headlines by marrying the American actor, are due to stay through Oct. 16th, according to the London-based Doughty Street Chambers legal firm. The barristers, who are also to meet with Culture Minister Costas Tasoulas during their stay, were first asked to provide advice to Athens in 2011.
It was then that David Hill, an archaeologist who chairs the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles asked Norman Palmer, a lawyer specializing in cultural heritage issues, to explore Greece’s legal options.
Palmer, who is known for securing the return of Aborigine remains to Australia from London’s Natural History Museum, sought the help of Robertson, with whom he had worked on the Australian claim.
Last March, George Clooney caused a stir by expressing support for the idea of the Parthenon Marbles being returned to Athens.
The United Nation’s cultural arm, UNESCO, said it will also mediate the case but their opinion is non-binding and the British Museum and government have said they will never return the marbles that were stolen from the Parthenon nearly 200 years ago by a British diplomat, Lord Elgin, when Greece was still ruled by the Ottoman Empire.