Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos (L) shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) prior to their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 15 May 2019. EPA, JASON LEE
President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos asked for the return of the “stolen Parthenon sculptures” from the British Museum in London during his speech at Tsinghua University of China, at the headquarters of the Classical and Modern Greek Studies department.
- Pavlopoulos explained: “We, the Greeks, are proud of our culture. At the same time, however, we feel the weight and the debt of their protection as well as the continuation of their mission. This is due to the fact that, the Greek culture is also a cradle of the European civilisation but also of the western civilisation, with the Parthenon having an emblematic role.
- That is why we are asking for the return of the stolen Parthenon sculptures from the British Museum. As far as the world-wide cultural uniqueness of the Parthenon and its monuments are concerned, there is no need to provide any explanations. This is a self-evident truth, which is based on unshakeable evidence.”
Analyzing the contribution of the Greek language to the Dialogue of Civilisations, Pavlopoulos noted that through the teaching of the Greek language, Greek culture is promoted through its contribution to world cultural heritage while at the same time allowing a discourse between the Greek civilisation and other civilizations. In this case, the dynamic and creative Chinese civilisation.
- He also recalled that the Greeks and the Chinese are heirs of two emblematic cultures that stretch back into the depths of the centuries, rightly claiming their corresponding share of “eternity” as it applies to them.
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