Brexit leverage or historic justice? Twitter row erupts after EU ‘demands’ UK return stolen Elgin Marbles to Greece

, Brexit leverage or historic justice? Twitter row erupts after EU ‘demands’ UK return stolen Elgin Marbles to Greece, Travel Wire News |  Travel Newswire, Travel Wire News |  Travel Newswire

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Britain’s refusal to return the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles to Greece, which says they were stolen from Athens in the early 19th century, has triggered debate on Twitter about the rights and wrongs of the provocative request.

The long-running dispute has recently seen Greece step up efforts to reclaim the 2,500-year-old sculptures that had adorned the famed fifth century BC Parthenon temple. The precious pieces were taken by British diplomat Lord Elgin when Athens was under Ottoman Turkish rule.

The British Museum in London – where the ancient treasures are currently held – have rejected Athens’ request. They deny Greece’s claim that they were stolen and say the marbles were taken under a legal contract with the Ottoman empire.

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But it has recently emerged the EU’s draft negotiating mandate in relation to post-Brexit trade talks with the UK includes a demand for the return of “unlawfully removed cultural objects.” The claim was immediately linked to the Elgin Marbles, prompting accusations online that Brussels is using the contentious issue for leverage in negotiations.

Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib hit out at the EU for “grasping onto anything with which it might bolster its negotiating position,” adding that “enough is enough” and suggesting the UK should not play their games and instead “leave without a deal.”

Darren Grimes – who helped found the BrexitCentral website and the pro-Brexit youth group BeLeave – has called the EU’s latest demands “ridiculous.” He claimed on Twitter that Brussels was merely using the issue of the Parthenon Marbles as a means to “attack Britain.”

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