Tory Peer Urges UK To Hand Back Elgin Marbles To Help Heal 'Really Crappy World'

House Of Cards author Michael Dobbs presses foreign secretary David Cameron to "reforge and strengthen" relations with Greece.
Lord Cameron and Lord Dobbs
Lord Cameron and Lord Dobbs
Parliament TV

The author of House Of Cards has called on the UK government to return the Elgin marbles to Greece to help foster better relations against the backdrop of a “really crappy world”.

The plea from Lord Michael Dobbs was issued to Lord David Cameron, the new foreign secretary, in the upper chamber after the row over the ancient Greek sculptures was re-ignited last week.

Carved 2,500 years ago, the sculptures were brought to Britain in the 19th century by British ambassador Lord Elgin and remain at London’s British Museum.

A diplomatic row was sparked after Rishi Sunak cancelled his meeting with the prime minister of Greece after Kyriakos Mitsotakis repeated his country’s long-standing position that the treasures should be returned to the Parthenon temple in Athens.

On Tuesday, Conservative peer Lord Dobbs, a supporter of the Parthenon Project, which aims to return the classical sculptures on display in the UK to their home city of Athens, said in the Lords: “In our really crappy world, is it not right that we should reach out and use as much soft power as we can to reforge and strengthen our relations with our old friends?”

In reply, Cameron said: “I do not agree with what he says about the Elgin marbles. The government have a very clear position on that, which has been set out.

“I met the Greek foreign minister while I was at the NATO conference, and we had a great discussion about all the other aspects of our relationship, where we are strong friends, allies and partners.”


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