23 January, 2008
Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis, currently on a visit to South Africa, on Tuesday met the long-time icon of the anti-Apartheid movement Nelson Mandela at the Institute bearing his name.
The 90-year-old Mandela expressed a great fondness for Greece and expressed his support for the country's "just demand for the return of the Parthenon Marbles".
After the meeting, Kassimis said he felt greatly honored to be received by Mandela, whom he described as a historic personality in the recent history of Africa and the modern world.
"I thanked him for his support over all these years for all Greek issues, even the Olympic Games, when he had called on all the African countries to vote in favour of Greece's bid," the minister said.
He said his talks with Mandela had focused on the work underway - including by Mandela's own Greek lawyer Mr. Bizos - by the committees for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.
"He stressed that we have his absolute support and that on all occasions he speaks about Greece's right to re-acquire the Parthenon Marbles," Kassimis added.
Source: Athens News Agency