Parthenon Sculptures – Return to Greece Act 2016 draft is tabled at British Parliament (full text)

EPA / FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

View at a sculpture of 'The Parthenon Marbles' collection, also known as the 'Elgin Marbles', at the British Museum in London, Britain, 17 October 2014. Amal Alamuddin-Clooney and British lawyer Geoffrey Robertson arrived to Greece on 13 October for a four-day visit to meet government officials, and advise on Greece's quest to have the collection of classical Greek marble sculptures returned to Athens which had been removed from the Parthenon in the early 19th century by British ambassador Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin.

Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams:“It’s time we engaged in a gracious act. To put right right a 200-year wrong.”


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It was exactly 200 years ago when the British Parliament has voted  an act to buy the Parthenon Scupltures that Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine removed the marble sculptures from the Acropolis and gave them to the British Museum where they remain until today.

200 years after 11 July 1816, the Parthenon Sculptures (Return to Greece) Bill, is to be presented on the anniversary by Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams, supported by Conservative Jeremy Lefroy and 10 other MPs from Labour, the SNP and Plaid Cymru. 

“These magnificent artefacts were improperly dragged and sawn off the remains of the Parthenon. […] This Bill proposes that the Parliament should annul what it did 200 years ago. In 1816 Parliament effectively state-sanctioned the improper acquisition of these impressive and important sculptures from Greece.

New Europe presents the full text of the bill that is not yet officially released:

Parthenon Sculptures (Return to Greece) Bill

CONTENTS
Return of the Parthenon Sculptures
Amendment of the British Museum Act 1963
3 Other artefacts
4 Short title and commencement
BILL TO Make provision for the transfer of ownership and return to Greece of the artefacts known as the Parthenon Sculptures, or Elgin Marbles, purchased by Parliament in 1816; to amend the British Museum Act 1963 accordingly; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

1 Return of the Parthenon Sculptures

(1)Ownership of the collection of artefacts known as the ‘Parthenon Sculptures’, or the ‘Elgin Marbles’, is transferred to the government of the Hellenic Republic, subject only to subsections (2) and (4).
(2)The artefacts comprising the collection in subsection (1) shall be determined by the Secretary of State by regulation.
(3)Before making a determination under subsection (2), the Secretary of State must consult—
(a)the Trustees of the British Museum,
(b)representatives of the Government of the Hellenic Republic, and
(c)any other person, body or institution that the Secretary of State believes to be appropriate.
(4)Subsection (1) has effect on the coming into force of an agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Hellenic Republicin which terms are agreed relating to—
(a)arrangements for the suitable transportation of the collection determined under subsection (2);
(b)responsibility for the costs of such transportation;
(c)arrangements and conditions for the maintenance and display of the collection; and
(d)access to the collection for:
(i)experts
(ii)students, and
(ii)members of the public. 
(5)The power to
(a) make regulations under subsection (2), or
(b) enter into an agreement under subsection (4)
is exercisable by statutory instrument which may only be made after a draft of the  instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

2
 Amendment of the British Museum Act 1963 

(1)
In section 5 of the British Museum Act 1963 (disposal of objects), after subsection (4) insert—
(5)Nothing in this section may be interpreted as applying to an artefact that—
(a)has been determined to be part of the collection under section 1(1) of the Parthenon Sculptures (Return to Greece) Act 2016, or 
(b)is under active consideration by the Secretary of State for determination as to whether or not the artefact is part of that collection.”
(2)In section 9 of the British Museum Act 1963 (transfers to other institutions) after subsection (1) insert—
“(2)Nothing in this section may be interpreted as applying to an artefact that—
(a)has been determined to be part of the collection under section 1(1) of the Parthenon Sculptures (Return to Greece) Act 2016, or 
(b)is under active consideration by the Secretary of State for determination as to whether or not the artefact is part of that collection.”

3 Other 
artefacts

Nothing in this Act shall be interpreted as applying to any artefact forming part of a collection within a national muse
um or gallery other than the artefacts mention in section 1.

Short title and commencement 

(1)
This Act may be cited as the Parthenon Sculptures (Return to Greece) Act 2016.
(2)This Act comes into force on the day after the day on which it receives Royal Assent.

 

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