The leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America slammed U.K. PM Rishi Sunak for canceling a meeting with his Greek counterpart over his comments seeking the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum.
“Rishi Sunak’s decision to abruptly cancel his meeting with [Kyriakos Mitsotakis] over the Parthenon Sculptures deeply insults Greeks worldwide,” Archbishop Elpidophoros wrote on X.
“These Sculptures are beacons of our shared human heritage, and their reunification in Athens fulfills UK’s moral and historical responsibility,” he added.
Sunak was scheduled to meet Mitsotakis on Tuesday. But the Brit called off the talks late Monday after Mitsotakis gave an interview to the BBC in which he insisted upon the return of the Parthenon Marbles, the ancient sculptures that Britain’s Lord Elgin removed from Greece in the 19th century.
“I express my annoyance that the British prime minister canceled our planned meeting just hours before it was due to take place,” Mitsotakis said.
A Greek government spokesman on Tuesday called Sunak’s decision to cancel the meeting “unprecedented” and “disrespectful.”
Britain’s Labour Party has seized on the saga, with leader Keir Starmer accusing Sunak of engaging in “small politics” for calling off the meeting with Mitsotakis.
“Never mind the British Museum — it’s the prime minister who has obviously lost his marbles,” Starmer said.