Greece seeks return of relics

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Added On October 17, 2014

Well, the honeymoon is over, and Hollywood actor George Clooney's new wife, Amal Clooney, is back to work.
 
The famous human rights lawyer has made an impassioned plea for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from Britain to Greece. 
 
Amal Clooney arrived in Athens earlier this week. She's part of a legal team from a London-based law firm advising the Greek government on its bid to secure the return of the sculptures from Britain.
 
During the three-day visit, she and others have met senior officials including Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Culture Minister Costas Tassoulas.
 
Greece has stepped up its campaign to get the marbles back since it opened a museum at the foot of the Acropolis in 2009. The facility is built to preserve the relics. 
 
After touring the museum, Amal said at a news conference that she hoped the world to enjoy the sculptures re-united in their home.
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): AMAL CLOONEY, British lawyer
"A horseman has its head in Athens and its body in London. The Greek god Poseidon has his torso separated between Greece and UK. This means that no one can admire the marbles united as a whole from where they come from, which is a monument which represent Greek ancient history and the birth place of our modern civilization. We're talking here about an injustice that has persisted for too long. And in a world that has so many intelligible conflicts, here is the problem that can be solved. It can be solved for the benefit of both sides and all humanity."
 
The Parthenon Marbles are also known as the Elgin Marbles. The treasures comprise roughly half the 160-meter-long frieze on the Parthenon.
 
Greece claims that the sculptures were removed to Britain illegally in the early 19th century.
  
They're now displayed at the British Museum, which has refused to give them back. 
 
The museum and the British government insist that they acquired the marbles legitimately and that the works are better off in London. 
 
After more than a century of fruitless lobbying, Greece is now pinning its hopes on a mediation effort backed by UNESCO.
 
SOUNDBITE (GREEK): COSTAS TASSOULAS, Greek Culture Minister
"The Greek government doest not have the intention to take the issue to an international court. We hope it can be resolved through mediation."
 
The issue has already sparked a national campaign in Greece and many hope, with the new drive, the 5th-century B.C. sculptures can be brought back home. 
 
SOUNDBITE: DAVID HILL, Advocate
"Greece is not alone. It has many friends and we will not stop until the marbles come back home where they belong."