The British government and management of the British Museum have both rejected the return of the Parthenon Marbles and the possibility of an UNESCO intermediation.

In response to UNESCO, the British Museum rejected its mediation proposal, while the British Ministers of Culture and European Affairs argued that the Parthenon Marbles were legally acquired by Lord Elgin.

The two ministers also claim that there had been no request for their return between 1816 and 1985, when the Greek Culture Minister at the time, the late Melina Merkouri, formally made a request.

Furthermore, the two ministers rejected UNESCO’s proposal claiming that it essentially aims to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, which they note violates the “legal rights” of the British Museum.