Amal Clooney in Athens on mission for return of Elgin Marbles

13th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

Newlywed lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney arrived in Athens on Monday to advise the Greek government on Britain's possible restitution of the Elgin Marbles to Greece.

A media scrum was on hand to welcome Clooney, who married Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney in September.

Wearing dark trousers and a short white jacket, she was accompanied by her boss at London's Doughty Street Chambers, Geoffrey Robertson, and archaeologist David Hill, who has spearheaded a campaign for the return of the marbles since 2011.

The marble sculptures, taken from the Parthenon by diplomat Lord Elgin in 1803 and currently housed in the British Museum, have been a bone of contention between the British and Greek governments for decades.

Ironically, the team are lodging at Athens' sumptuous Grande Bretagne hotel, which has views of the Parthenon from its better rooms.

They will meet Tuesday with Culture Minister Constantinos Tassoulas, and on Wednesday with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, followed by a visit to the Acropolis Museum.

George Clooney, who married the Lebanese-born Alamuddin on September 27, backed the return of the Elgin Marbles in February while promoting his film "Monuments Men" about a group that sought to preserve cultural artefacts during World War II.

Asked about their possible restitution, he told a Greek journalist: "Yes, it would be a good idea. You have right on your side."

The marbles are the latest high-profile case for Alamuddin, who has previously defended Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.


© 2014 AFP

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