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12 November, 2002
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday held talks with the British Museum's new director Neal McGregor, in the presence of the Greek Ambassador to London and the president of the organization responsible for building the new Acropolis Museum.
Venizelos is in London on the occasion of the presentation of the plans for the new Acropolis Museum by Swiss architect Bernard Cumi on Tuesday.
The climate for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece in the form of long-term loan, as the Greek government is requesting from the British Museum anyway, is being shaped out positively.
''Prime Minister Costas Simitis discussed the issue with the British prime minister. This gives us a new prospect on the issue which we have stopped examining for some time in its formal legal form but we are requesting a substantive solution,'' Venizelos said after the meeting.
Venizelos said the present day was very important and communication and political initiatives would follow and expressed his profound appreciation for British public opinion.
He began a series of contacts in the British capital, focusing primarily on the way with which the Parthenon Marbles will return to Athens on the occasion of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
The Greek ambassador to London was due to hold a reception on Monday night during which three academic philhellenes will be decorated. Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos will be present at the reception.
Source: Athens News Agency