54% of the British public say yes to the return of the Parthenon Sculptures with just 16% being opposed. This is the result of a poll published on the BBC website and carried out on behalf of the Parthenon Project.
The Parthenon Project is a relatively new body that aims to reunite the Sculptures. In fact, former culture minister of the Cameron governments Lord Ed Vaizey was recently appointed chairman of the organization. Lord Vaizey, who served in the ministry from 2010 to 2016, said he was confident a deal is possible. In his article in The Times he points out that the British Museum has housed half of the sculptures for more than 200 years. It had been asked to return them to Athens so they could be reunited as a single work of art to be seen at the Acropolis Museum. Greece has rejected loan offers. But the idea of a reciprocal exchange involving a rotating exhibition at the Duveen Gallery of artefacts never before seen in London has recently come to the fore and I am a keen supporter of the idea, as Lord Ed Vaizey points out.
Recently, moreover, the first debate began in the House of Lords on changing the law that prohibits the return of antiquities to their place of origin. This is perhaps an even more important development since if the process goes ahead and the 1963 law prohibiting the removal of exhibits from the British Museum is finally changed, then it will be much easier to make the decision to return the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece.