Dr. Francesco Buranelli, chairman of the Vatican Museum, suggested that the new Acropolis museum should become the first European museum to display exhibits, which are legally owned by other countries. In his speech at the Croatian embassy in the Vatican, the scientist shared his view that the Parthenon marbles, which right now are spread all over the world, should return to Athens. Most of the marbles, famously known as Dr. Elgin’s marbles, are kept in the British museum. Athens and London have been having an argument for many years for their return.
Dr. Francesco Buranelli believes that these marble could be displayed in a special wing of the new Acropolis museum without changing their legal British owners. “The new Acropolis museum can have a special diplomatic status, which can be managed by a group of specialists appointed by the European commission,” explained the scientist. According to him, it is time for the European Union to show that it is not only an economic and political organization but also a cultural one, where differences can be overcome in the name of protecting the European cultural and historical heritage.
“I am ready to visit Athens and London and to explain my idea further,” offered Dr. Francesco Buranelli. He said that he had talked to many academic representatives and they are positive towards his idea about the unusual status of the new Acropolis museum. The chairman of the Vatican museum also believes that this formula can be adapted to other cases as well but not to all.
Dr. Francesco Buranelli was appointed to this position last year by Pope Benedict XVI.