Greece drafting bid for Parthenon sculpture loan from UK

ATHENS, Greece — Greece is preparing a formal request to borrow the British Museum's sculptures removed more than 200 years ago from the ancient Parthenon temple on Athens' Acropolis.

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni says her ministry is drafting a proposal for the loan, which would coincide with the 2021 bicentennial of the revolution that led to the formation of the modern Greek state.

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In return, she told private Skai TV Tuesday, Greece could lend the London museum Greek antiquities. No details were released.

Mendoni said the proposal would be submitted by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at an unspecified time.

Greece says the 5th Century B.C. works — about half the Parthenon's surviving sculptures — were illegally removed and should be returned. The British Museum rejects that.

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