Stephen Fry: “Let’s be a classy country” and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece

Stephen Fry says "let's be a classy country" and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece during this time of crisis.

Fry: Let

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Actor and writer Stephen Fry has declared his support for returning the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, a country he says is in “dire need” of our friendship and the tourism boost.

Stephen FryNational treasure Stephen Fry was speaking at a debate on the fate of the Greek sculptures hosted by Intelligence Squared. He said:

“Let’s be a classy country and return the marbles to Greece. We would be admired by the rest of the world, offering friendship to a country in dire need.

In Greece, there are men queuing up for food and when the cameras are turned on them, they turn away because they are so ashamed.

If we can do this one thing for the poor people of Greece, if we can just help their tourism and make a story out of this.

Until we return the marbles – regardless of how much their debt crisis means they owe us – we will never be able to repay the debt that we owe Greece.

The Parthenon marbles, currently on display at the British museum, were once part of the Parthenon temple situated on the Acropolis of Athens.

Thomas Bruce, 7th earl of Elgin, received permission to remove parts of the Parthenon while serving as British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Some historians believe that Elgin legally took the sculptures while others argue they should be returned to Athens.


See also:

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A possible phone call between Alexis Tsipras and Angela Merkel 6 Jun 2012


Fry added:

“How classy would it be to put a film in the place of the marbles, showing how our heads of government decided to replicate the marbles and then have them returned to where they were quarried?”

Joining Stephen Fry at the debate yesterday evening were Labour MP Tristram Hunt, Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George and Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

Tristram Hunt was against returning the sculptures to Greece, saying:

“The people of Greece should have intense pride that the marbles are in London. [Returning them] will start us down a slippery slope that will purge our museums of cosmopolitan sensibility… The Ethiopian tablets and Rosetta Stone will have to be returned. It will be a global loss of learning.”

An audience poll taken before the event asking ‘Should the marbles be returned to Greece?’, showed 196 voted for, 202 against and 158 didn’t know. A second poll taken after the debate showed a majority of 384 voting in favour of returning the marbles, with 125 voting against and only 24 audience members voting don’t know.


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42 Responses to “Stephen Fry: “Let’s be a classy country” and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece”

  1. Political Planet

    Stephen Fry: “Let’s be a classy country” and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece: Stephen Fry says "let's be … http://t.co/brVUKT4Z

  2. Mark Silver

    "Let's be a classy country" @StephenFry's call4UK2return the Parthenon Marbles reported here: http://t.co/ZzXrLjvU by @LFFKatie

  3. Shamik Das

    "Let's be a classy country" @StephenFry's call4UK2return the Parthenon Marbles reported here: http://t.co/ZzXrLjvU by @LFFKatie

  4. Pulp Ark

    Stephen Fry: “Let’s be a classy country” and return the… http://t.co/rb7vIeqd #MultilateralForeignPolicy #Greece #muslim #tcot #sioa

  5. Susan Grey

    "Let's be a classy country" @StephenFry's call4UK2return the Parthenon Marbles reported here: http://t.co/ZzXrLjvU by @LFFKatie

  6. Phil Whittaker

    http://t.co/j7ICqi4L return the marbles now to Greece?

  7. Women'sHistoryMonth

    Stephen Fry: “Let’s be a classy country” and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece http://t.co/n1CiKgQx

  8. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Stephen Fry: "Let's be a classy country" and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece http://t.co/f1ukEDks

  9. elizabeth strav

    "Let's be a classy country" @StephenFry's call4UK2return the Parthenon Marbles reported here: http://t.co/ZzXrLjvU by @LFFKatie

  10. elizabeth strav

    http://t.co/ictvpQLu thank u Stephen Fry 4being the new Lord Byron 4us Greeks who have had all usurped including our Parthenon Marbles

  11. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Stephen Fry: “Let’s be a classy country” and return the Parthenon Marbles… http://t.co/IMZDTO5z

  12. Jane Mackelworth

    Stephen Fry: “Let’s be a classy country” and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece http://t.co/n1CiKgQx

  13. weldon kennedy

    "Let's be a classy country" @StephenFry's call4UK2return the Parthenon Marbles reported here: http://t.co/ZzXrLjvU by @LFFKatie

  14. Katie Stanton

    .@StephenFry: "Let's be a classy country" & return the Parthenon marbles to Greece http://t.co/HCfLgWUQ #iq2marbles @MarblesReunite @iq2gr

  15. Katie Stanton

    @intelligence2 @AndrewGeorgeLD Fry had some interesting comments on the marbles as an economy boost, here's my piece: http://t.co/HCfLgWUQ

  16. Lord Blagger

    How about saying they can have them back when they pay off the billions they owe us?

    Seems a fair trade to me. They are crap anyway.

  17. Intelligence Squared

    "Let's be a classy country and return the Parthenon Marbles" – write-up of last night by @LFFKatie: http://t.co/4uW3iZ8p #iq2marbles

  18. Fede Rilli

    He's gone bonkers! He's condemning the marbles to DESTRUCTION: Stephen Fry: return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece http://t.co/vfmoMNZM

  19. Stephen Fry News

    Stephen Fry: “Let's be a classy country” and return the Parthenon Marbles to … http://t.co/Ul5ZTrJd

  20. Elginism

    @intelligence2 @AndrewGeorgeLD Fry had some interesting comments on the marbles as an economy boost, here's my piece: http://t.co/HCfLgWUQ

  21. lewis wilde

    @intelligence2 @AndrewGeorgeLD Fry had some interesting comments on the marbles as an economy boost, here's my piece: http://t.co/HCfLgWUQ

  22. Martine Faulkner

    RT @leftfootfwd: http://t.co/lZDxxUt5 -@stephenfry is indeed a national treasure, imagine how we wld feel if he had been snatched by Greece!

  23. Vic

    RT @leftfootfwd: Stephen Fry: "Let's be a classy country" and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece" http://t.co/BoY9WtTs

  24. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Stephen Fry: "Let's be a classy country" and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece http://t.co/Xfdj4AJE

  25. Conor Walsh

    RT @leftfootfwd: Stephen Fry: "Let's be a classy country" and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece http://t.co/Xfdj4AJE

  26. Conor Walsh

    RT @leftfootfwd: Stephen Fry: "Let's be a classy country" and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece http://t.co/Xfdj4AJE

  27. Katie Stanton

    @MarblesReunited "Let's be a classy country" & return the Parthenon marbles to Greece http://t.co/Ue8i7yZq … #iq2marbles

  28. Katie Stanton

    @MarblesReunited "Let's be a classy country" & return the Parthenon marbles to Greece http://t.co/Ue8i7yZq … #iq2marbles

  29. grhluna25

    @intelligence2 @AndrewGeorgeLD Fry had some interesting comments on the marbles as an economy boost, here's my piece: http://t.co/HCfLgWUQ

  30. grhluna25

    @intelligence2 @AndrewGeorgeLD Fry had some interesting comments on the marbles as an economy boost, here's my piece: http://t.co/HCfLgWUQ

  31. F1chef

    How about likewise Lord Blagger for India lets return all the Billions we took from them? How about we give the star of India back? You know people in glass houses all that should shut the *eck up?

  32. Walter R

    Give them back!!!

  33. JC

    Why shouldn’t all works of art be repatriated? Surely all Shakespeare’s First Folios should be here in the UK. We can get rid of all that funny foreign “art” like da Vinci, Rembrant, Titian, Rodin etc and replace it with BritArt. What are they doing here anyway if they weren’t looted at some time or other. Same goes for all the Egyptian and Roman stuff.

    Or maybe this is not what was meant and that special cases rule.

  34. Pamela Heywood

    "Stephen Fry: We should return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece | Left Foot Forward" ( http://t.co/IiiNFJ2k )

  35. Australian Committee

    .@StephenFry: "Let's be a classy country" & return the Parthenon marbles to Greece http://t.co/HCfLgWUQ #iq2marbles @MarblesReunite @iq2gr

  36. Tsagkalidis Stergios

    .@StephenFry: "Let's be a classy country" & return the Parthenon marbles to Greece http://t.co/HCfLgWUQ #iq2marbles @MarblesReunite @iq2gr

  37. British Committee

    time to do right RT @leftfootfwd: Stephen Fry: "Let's be a classy country & return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece http://t.co/KDETg4zR

  38. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Stephen Fry: "Let's be a classy country" and return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece http://t.co/f1ukEDks

  39. lewis wilde

    time to do right RT @leftfootfwd: Stephen Fry: "Let's be a classy country & return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece http://t.co/KDETg4zR

  40. AcropolisofAthens.gr

    "Let's be a classy country and return the Parthenon Marbles" – write-up of last night by @LFFKatie: http://t.co/4uW3iZ8p #iq2marbles

  41. Australian Committee

    "Let's be a classy country and return the Parthenon Marbles" – write-up of last night by @LFFKatie: http://t.co/4uW3iZ8p #iq2marbles

  42. Nikos Chatziandreou

    "Let's be a classy country and return the Parthenon Marbles" – write-up of last night by @LFFKatie: http://t.co/4uW3iZ8p #iq2marbles

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