And as British leader Rishi Sunak has a huffy and snubs Kyriakos Mitsotakis why won’t Britain give Greece her Marbles back?
Probably because Britain likes to keep what it finds.
Even if that finding involves chiselling Classical friezes away from the original and shipping it away from its Athenian home.
So that you can show it off in a museum along with all the other treasures you’ve purloined from around the world.
Of course Britain isn’t alone in this, it’s just that it’s done more of it than anybody else.
Now Mitsotakis made a drama out of a crisis when he lyrically expressed what the separation of the Marbles, the other half is in Athens looks like to the world.
That it was akin to ‘cutting the Mona Lisa in two’ and giving one half to a foreign museum.
Now in what is tantamount to art treason and outing myself as a philistine I would tender that I’d rather have my own Tobago mill pic.
British Museum’s stance
The Marbles though are a different story in aesthetics, history and longevity.
Which is why the British Museum is so keen not to give them back.
Saying in its defence: ‘Around 50% of the original architectural decoration on the Parthenon is now lost.
‘Having been destroyed over many centuries in the ancient world and later.
‘It is therefore impossible to reconstruct the monument completely or reunite it with its sculptural decoration.’
Which, of course, comes as a great disappointment to our Greek friends.
Elgin, embarrassingly, a Scot who probably learned his devious ways from his neighbours.
Of course, in this little northern part of this septic isle we call Britain we know all about the light-fingered English.
And how they stole the Stone of Destiny upon which Scottish kings were crowned in 1296 and brought it down to England.
And despite entreaties and a smash and grab by nationalistic students to get it back our English overlords decided to keep it.
Until it was finally handed back to be be houses in Edinburgh Castle in 1996, just a few years before we got her extant parliament back.
Work like a Trojan
Now we hope that common decency will prevail over the Elgin, or Parthenon Marbles.
And that it doesn’t take until 2512 for Britain to give back its loot.
But while Rishi Sunak plays Empire Games, backed by champion of anti-returnism Lord Cameron, a different tack is called for.
And as a kiss and make-up gift to sulky Sunak perhaps a Wooden Horse is the way.