South Australia’s Foundation for Hellenic Studies is behind the bold billboard ad strategically placed next to the British Museum
Adelaide’s Foundation for Hellenic Studies has done it again putting up a risqué electronic billboard poster just a few hundred metres off the British Museum in Holborn, London.
The advertisement shows the image of a naked male statue with the following quote cleverly placed to cover its private parts, yet sending a clear message.
“We gave you philosophy, democracy, logic, drama, comedy, justice… Please give us back our Marbles.”
Bill Muirhead, who designed the aforementioned ad is South Australia’s agent-general in the United Kingdom and Europe.
As part of the SA-based organisation’s #ReturnTheMarbles campaign which started in 2013, the banner aims to push the British government for an answer.
South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has also joined the campaign, along with Senator Nick Xenophon, endorsing its motto: “To champion the cause to Return the Marbles home”.
“Australians have fought in the past to have Indigenous artefacts returned to Australia because of their value to our Indigenous culture,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
“The same should happen in Europe. These marbles were robbed and stolen from the people in Greece, from the people of the world. They deserve to be back at the Parthenon which is a great temple, not just to Greek gods but to democracy itself.”
In his interview with the ABC, Mr Koutsantonis clarified that his advocacy of Hellenic affairs does not in any way interfere with his role in the Australian parliament.
“I’ve fought for the unification of Cyprus, to end the illegal occupation of Cyprus. I’ve fought for many issues affecting Greeks including the use of the term Macedonia,” he stressed.
“There’s an old saying in life, you can love your mother and your wife. Greece is my mother and Australia is my home so I can love both at the same time.”
The British Museum has yet to comment on the billboard directly, however, the statement released by its press office said that keeping the Parthenon Marbles in London, “allows a worldwide audience to see them. They are part of the world’s shared heritage and transcend political boundaries,” said the British Museum in a statement.
Meanwhile, acclaimed solicitor QC Geoffrey Robertson will be speaking at a fundraising dinner in Adelaide this evening, supporting the return of the Elgin marbles to Greece.