The US Congress has waded into the ongoing row over the Parthenon Marbles and called for their return to Greece.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, eighteen members of the House of Representatives urged Britain to open talks ‘in earnest’ over the sculptures in the British Museum.
They said said: ‘The Marbles have been the source of controversy among western allies for many decades. Greece has long wanted these Parthenon Marbles back.
‘Today we write to you as members of the congressional caucus on Hellenic Issues to urge your government to negotiate with the Greek government in earnest on the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.’
The group of congressmen contained both Republicans and Democrats and included the chair of the foreign affairs subcommittee covering Europe and the chairs of the oversight and rules committees.
They want to see the sculptures returned by 2021 – the 200th anniversary of the modern Greek state’s founding.
The letter adds: ‘We remain appreciative of your efforts and good will in support of the historic special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States, and look forward to strengthening that relationship through the accomplishment of matters such as this.’