SHAFAQNA – Campaigning in the Greek elections took an unexpected turn on Wednesday when one deputy took aim at a school text book describing the removal of the famed Elgin Marbles from Athens in the 19th century.The ancient Greek sculptures, also known as the Parthenon Marbles, were taken from Greece by British diplomat Lord Elgin in 1803.
The art history book on the subject — which has been used in Greek high schools without controversy for over 10 years — describes the sculptures as having been “transported” to Britain.
But lawmaker Tasos Kourakis, whose anti-austerity party Syriza is leading the polls, described this as completely wrong.
“The Elgin Marbles, gentlemen of the ministry of education, were not ‘transported’ but ‘snatched by force’,” Kourakis said in a statement.
Greece has been demanding the return of the sculptures from the British Museum in London for the past 30 years.
A statement from the education ministry pointed out that Kourakis’s complaint about the book coincided with the height of the election campaign.
Nonetheless, Education Minister Andreas Loverdos said on Facebook that the school book with the “monstrous wording” should be withdrawn.
Early elections on January 25 caused by the Greek parliament’s failure to name a new president last month have sparked concern on international markets and among the bailed-out country’s EU-IMF creditors.
The ballot is likely to be won by Syriza, which has pledged to reverse many fiscal reforms and seek to cancel part of Greece’s enormous public debt.
Source : AFP.com