“The Parthenon Marbles are considered as the greatest symbol of European culture. Therefore, reuniting the marbles would be both a sign of respect and civilised relationship between Great Britain and the EU, and much more than a legal necessity,” Stelios Kouloglou said.
As a Member of the European Parliament and an investigative journalist Stelios Kouloglou has claimed the EU’s treaty law means that highly controversial issue must be raised by the EU Brexit negotiators.
He has written twice to the European Commission asking that the world-famous marbles be included in the ongoing negotiations.He wrote: “Brexit negotiators must take into account the need to protect European cultural heritage”.
But a spokesperson for the European Commission said they did not believe the treaty – under Articles 3, 50 and 167 – means the Brexit team is legally obliged to address the issue.
Tibor Navracsics, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, has previously told Mr. Kouloglou the protection of cultural heritage was primarily the responsibility of EU member states and not the commission.
He said that there was a directive on the return of unlawfully removed cultural objects but this only applied to goods removed after January 1, 1993. Mr Navracsics said: “The Parthenon Marbles were removed long before this date, and the EU has no competence in the matter.