Brexit Deal May See the Loss of the Elgin Marbles and Other Works of Art

Elgin Marbles East Pediment at British Museum Credit: Andrew Dunn CC

AN unexpected side to the final Withdrawal negotiations over Brexit could be the loss of major works of art held in British galleries and museums.

A Scottish MP, Margaret Ferrier has highlighted one of the points for negotiation in the draft document issued by the European Union which state that both the UK and EU should “address issues relating to the return or restitution of unlawfully removed cultural objects to their country of origin.”

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The most obvious cultural object that may be part of the final deal would be the return of the Elgin Marbles by the British Museum to Greece where they could be displayed close to the Acropolis in Athens from where they were removed in the early 1800s.

The negotiations aren’t just about money and trade deals and should the EU press to include this provision, some quite significant works of historical interest may be returned to where they were taken.


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