Daily Kathimerini reports that the Greek Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) government must decide whether it wants to take legal recourse for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum. A confidential memo sent to the Ministry of Culture by three global lawyers of the Doughty Street Chambers encourages Greece to take the UK to court over the sculptures.
London-based lawyers Amal Alamuddin (George Clooney’s wife), Geoffrey Robertson and Norman Palmer – who had visited Athens in October – sent a 150-page memo with three considerations that the government needs to mull over before taking action. Greece needs to bear in mind what court of law should address the issue, five different approaches that can be taken, the cost of the legal proceedings and the chances of success.
“You must take legal action now or you may lose the opportunity to do so due to future legal obstacles,” says the report. The lawyers want the Greek authorities to contact the British government and British Museum and notify them of their legal claim. Should their bid for the return of the marbles be ignored, then legal action will officially be taken.
Kathimerini reports that the lawyers’ advice includes the statement: “The British adhere to international law… The Greek government has never taken advantage of this Achilles’ heel.” The report suggests that the Strasbourg court of Human Rights would be favourable at examining the case under the European Convention on Human Rights though a possible obstacle is the fact that Conservatives have pledged to change the law so that Strasbourg’s rulings are no longer binding.