The issue of Greece’s standing demand for the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum has generated renewed interest by a portion of the press recently because of some new developments. I'd like to have a look today.

Daily Kathimerini reports that the Greek Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) government must decide whether it wants to take legal recourse for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum. A confidential memo sent to the Ministry of Culture by three global lawyers of the Doughty Street Chambers encourages Greece to take the UK to court over the sculptures.

London-based lawyers Amal Alamuddin, Geoffrey Robertson and Norman Palmer--who had visited Athens in October--sent a 150-page memo with three considerations that the government needs to mull over before taking action. Greece needs to bear in mind what court of law should address the issue, five different approaches that can be taken, the cost of the legal proceedings and the chances of success. The rapport stresses that legal action must be taken now or the opportunity to do so might be lost due to future legal obstacles. The lawyers want the Greek authorities to contact the British government and British Museum and notify them of their legal claim. Should their bid for the return of the marbles be ignored, then legal action will officially be taken.

The lawyers’ advice includes the statement: 'The British adhere to international law… The Greek government has never taken advantage of this Achilles’ heel'. The report suggests that the Strasbourg court of Human Rights would be favourable at examining the case under the European Convention on Human Rights though a possible obstacle is the fact that Conservatives have pledged to change the law so that Strasbourg’s rulings are no longer binding.

As a response, Alternate Minister for Culture Nikos Xydakis said in an interview on Wednesday that diplomacy rather than litigation will help Greece win its claim for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum. Greece has thus ruled out taking legal action against the UK to reclaim the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum.

"On the one hand, you can’t file a suit over any issue, and, on the other, the outcome in international courts is never certain. The way to winning back the Marbles is diplomatic and political."

He said he believed attitudes to the future of the Marbles were slowly changing and would favour Greece in a diplomatic approach. I understand the course taken--can respect it, even--it's still a blow to those who want to see the marbles restored to Greece. How are you taking the news?