Greek Government Drops Amal Clooney; Decides Against Legal Action for Parthenon Marbles


Human rights attorney Amal Clooney was dropped from her role in representing the Greek government as a legal advisor in proposed legal action against the British Museum to win back the Parthenon Marbles.

The government, during a parliamentary meeting, announced that it “will not proceed with legal claims because we are at risk of losing the case,” according to Culture minister Aristides Baltas. ‘We will not proceed with legal claims because we are at risk of losing the case,’ he said.

Instead, Greek officials will pursue diplomatic channels involving a European Council directive on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from a member state.

The marbles were famously ripped off (literally) from the Parthenon sometime between 1801 and 1805 by Scottish diplomat Lord Elgin, who sold them to the British government. They arrived at the British Museum in 1816 where they have been on display ever since.

The ownership debate has been going on for years. Numerous books have been written on the issue and activists and groups from throughout the world have been urging the British Museum to return the marbles to Athens

Clooney and her British law firm, Doughty Street Chambers, were retained by the previous government of then prime minister Antonis Samaras— and paid— by an unnamed Greek shipping magnate, on behalf of the government to pursue legal action. The fees were a reported £200,000 (approximately $300,000) according to London’s Daily Mail.

Clooney and her team of international lawyers recently delivered a 150-page report to the Greek government advising them on their legal options for the case, which included a recommendation to take Britain to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The government rejected the suggestion.

Mr Baltas told The Times that losing in court ‘would strip Greece of the right to reclaim the Marbles once and for all’, meaning that it would be better to pursue ‘political and diplomatic’ options to assert its claim.



  1. The (Elgin) marbles were “famously ripped off (literally)”. Literally “ripped” off? What then would be the literal description for the the way the remaining marbles have been, famously or not so (in)famously, taken off to the New Acropolis Museum?

    • Picking up on an expression that hardly describes the barbarity and vandalism of Elgin’s action of inferior motives?and then comparing it with the actions of the legal and spiritual owner -the Greek State?
      A sign of “civilized” & “cocky” attitude by you “Sir” Steve Kay? Befits your standing next to the one of “Lord”Elgin.
      Try picking on these 4 above in quotations descriptive epithets in sequence i.e “Civilized”,Cocky”,Sir”&”Lord”.
      We have so much to learn from your “Highness” and all alike. 🙂

  2. His august personage Steve “call me Sir” Kay on

    In the late seventeen hundreds agents of the Comte de Choiseul-Gouffier removed some ancient marble sculpture, now on display in a big museum in Paris, and not long after that agents of the VII Earl Elgin removed quite a lot more, now on display in a big museum in London, and long long after that agents of the latter day Hellenic Republic removed all of the rest, now on display in a big new museum in Athens. Imitation is, they say, the sincerest form of flattery.

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