Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 2102..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
This sentiment I express has the overwhelming support of the Greek community in the ACT and strong public and political support from the broader communities of both Australia and Britain. As Mr John Kalokerinos, who is the coordinator of the Australian Hellenic Council based in the ACT, recently said "... from any perspective, whether cultural, historic or artistic the time has unquestionably come for the Parthenon Marbles to be repatriated to their home in Athens where they belong ...".
Why should this Assembly be involved? Why do I raise this issue today? There are a number of reasons. One is that this is not merely a Greek heritage issue but a world heritage issue involving the ancient world's most significant artworks. It is also because of the historic connection between Australians and Greeks.
Repatriation of artefacts
MR CORNWELL (1.38 am): I have listened with interest to Mr Stanhope's comments. I wonder whether we can restrict this simply to the matter of the Parthenon marbles? For example, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin holds an almost complete temple of Zeus, taken from one of the ancient Greek cities in Asia Minor.
I wonder about the obelisk, Cleopatra's Needle, on the Embankment in London, and the other obelisk-a similar needle-in Central Park in New York. I have a book called The Silk Road. There is a group of some six panels of horses such as the one owned by Emperor Taizong. Four of the panels remain in China; the other two are now in the museum at the University of Pennsylvania.
I wonder whether some of the things we have in our own War Memorial should be returned? What about the Smithsonian museum in Washington and a number of other museums scattered all over the world? Mr Stanhope talks about the support of Europe. The Germans might like some of the artefacts repatriated from Russia, which were taken as war booty after the Second World War.
I can see a remarkable opportunity for enterprising businessmen in moving these artefacts back and forth across the world. We can perhaps even set up somebody to establish who owns what. It is very easy to talk about one particular issue. I am not arguing the merits of the Parthenon marbles; I am saying that it is very easy-
MR SPEAKER: The time for this debate has expired.
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
The Assembly voted-