Greek PM moves to smooth over UK marbles row, as King Charles raises eyebrows

ATHENS — Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis moved Friday to smooth over his relationship with the U.K. after a furious row with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak over the Parthenon sculptures.

“I certainly want to leave this unfortunate incident behind me, but it always takes two to tango,” Mitsotakis said in an interview with Bloomberg Television while in Dubai for the COP28 climate summit.

Sunak was scheduled to meet Mitsotakis on Tuesday, but the British leader abruptly 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.

“In the spirit of long-standing good relations our two countries have, which I surely intend to preserve, I don’t have much to add,” Mitsotakis said, adding that he hasn’t spoken to Sunak since the incident.

The British PM is also in Dubai on Friday.

The frenzy over the unprecedented diplomatic row continues to titillate the Greek media, which noted that King Charles III appeared to take a stand for Greece by choosing to wear a tie bearing the Greek flag.

King Charles III wore the tie and a blue and white pocket square while in Dubai, where he had a brief meeting with Sunak.

Earlier this week, one Greek newspaper didn’t mince any words.

“Fuck you bastard!” screamed the front page of tabloid “Eleftheri Ora” at Sunak earlier this week.