The Foundation For Hellenic Studies, which is an Australian organisation - Australia is home of the largest Greek population outside of Greece itself - have been lobbying for the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece from British Museum in London. Only six years ago the lobbying of returns centered on Egypt getting it's "stolen treasures" back from 25 different countries. Now we turn our attention to those lovely Greek marble statues.
The cheeky ad sponsored by The Foundation For Hellenic Studies appears on an electronic billboard poster site just a few hundred metres from the British Museum in Holborn, London. It reads: "We gave you philosophy, democracy, logic, drama, comedy, justice… Please give us back our Marbles." with the last part of the line placed over a Greek statues nether regions.
Of course there's a hashtag, #returnthemarbles, to support this idea. Currently the electronic billboard is only set to run for 48 hours, but The Foundation For Hellenic Studies is planning to crowdfund more contributions, and have a gala fundraising dinner in Australia tonight. Guest speaker is Geoffrey Robertson, the British-based QC. The media and ad were arranged by the Australian foundations UK connections, among them Phil Georgiadis UK chairman of Publicis Media who has family in Greece, and Bill Muirhead, a partner in ad agency M&C Saatchi, who is from south Australia.
The British Museum have explained in a statement that "They are part of the world's shared heritage and transcend political boundaries." and are not interested in returning the statues. They only have around 30% of what they call the Parthenon Marbles, and The British Museum stresses that it allows a "worldwide" audience to see them by keeping them in London.
What a modern world we live in where ancient items shall "return home", but human beings are global citizens that can stay and go anywhere they want. Including to London, if they want to see some neat Greek statues. I've seen the collection actually, well worth the trip to the British Museum if you happen to pass by.