Xi Jinping Supports Greek Demand for British To Return the Stolen Parthenon Marbles
Nov. 12, 2019 (EIRNS)—Wrapping up his state visit to Greece with a tour of the Acropolis Museum yesterday, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed solidarity with Greece’s demand for the British to return the Parthenon Marbles which it looted from Greece in the early 19th century and now keep in the British Museum. Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who was hosting Xi’s tour of the museum, told him: “These Marbles’ place is here and not in the British Museum. They are keeping them there illegally. We ask for your support.”
“Not only do I agree with the return of the Parthenon sculptures, but you will also have our support, as we too have our own [artefacts] of Chinese culture outside the country and are trying to get them home,” the Chinese President stated, as cameras rolled.
The Parthenon Marbles, outrageously called the “Elgin Marbles” after Thomas Bruce Lord Elgin, who robbed them from the Parthenon during the Ottoman occupation of Greece, brought them to England, seriously damaging them in the process. Lord Byron called Elgin’s violence vandalism. The Marbles were then put in the British Museum with other looted art treasures, where they were damaged further by nasty English private schoolboys.
Earlier in the day Nov. 11, China and Greece signed agreements that would enable the development of Piraeus to become Europe’s largest port. This was the intention expressed by President Xi in his Nov. 10 op-ed in the Greek daily Kathimerini, in which he wrote that the port of Piraeus is the “head of the dragon” of the Belt and Road. The task will be carried out between the Chinese COSCO Group, which is the majority owner of the Piraeus Port Authority, and the Greek government and Greek companies. At the head of the list of projects is the building of a fourth container terminal which will be able to increase the throughput of the port from the current 7 million to 10 million containers, putting Piraeus in the top level of ports of Europe along with Rotterdam, which is currently receives 15 million containers annually. Piraeus processed nearly 5 million containers last year.
Other projects include a new terminal for cruise ships. Piraeus is already Europe’s largest passenger port, given the tremendous ferry traffic between the Greek mainland and the islands.