Greek PM seeks permanent return of Parthenon marbles

STORY: Britain and Greece recently began fresh talks over a possible deal to end the long-running dispute, with Greece seeking the permanent return from the British Museum of the 2,500-year-old sculptures removed from the Parthenon temple in the early 19th century by British diplomat Lord Elgin when he was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

"There has now been a significant change in the United Kingdom both at the level of public opinion, but also at the level of people who have knowledge of the matter," Mitsotakis told Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

"I do not expect immediate results, but I believe we have already moved very systematically, and if the Greek people trust us again, I believe we could achieve this target after the elections," he added.

Greece has accused Lord Elgin of theft and does not recognize the British Museum as owner of the sculptures.

The British Museum has always ruled out returning the parts in its collection, which include about half of the 525-foot (160 meter) frieze that adorned the Parthenon and maintains that they were acquired legally.