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Britain “legally owns” Elgin Marbles, says Boris Johnson

Britain is the legitimate owner of the Elgin Marbles, Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists.

Greece has called for the repatriation of the frieze – taken from the Parthenon temple in Athens – for more than 180 years.

But the British Museum has always refused the request.


It argues the marbles were bought though a legal contract with the Ottoman Empire.

Mr Johnson, an Oxford University Classics’ scholar, said he understood the feelings of many Greeks about the issue.

However, Britain had a “firm and long-standing” position about the sculptures he told the Ta Nea newspaper.

He added: “They were acquired legally by Lord Elgin, in line with the laws that were in force at that time.”



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