Tension between Greek and British museum officials over ownership of the famous Elgin marbles bubbled over this week, reports the Guardian. With the New Acropolis Museum set to open in Athens, Greece is refusing to accede to British terms concerning the loan of the classical treasure. The British Museum offered a 3-4 month loan and an acknowledgment of their ownership, as is traditional for museum loans.
The Athenian culture minister, however, insisted that not only was this not enough time, but that acknowledging ownership would be equivalent to sanctioning their theft. "[A]greeing to the condition [of ownership] would be like sanctifying Elgin's deeds and legitimizing the theft of the marbles...No Greek government could accept that," he said. Top British officials, including the Queen, have declined to attend the museum's opening.