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Greek PM calls for reunification of Parthenon Sculptures

Athens, Jan 4 (IANS) Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called for all the Parthenon's sculptures to be brought back together, as 10 marble fragments of sculptures from the 2,500-year-old temple on the Acropolis Hill were transferred from the National Archaeological Museum of Greece to the Acropolis Museum.

"This journey of return transmits a loud message for the reunification of all parts of this unique monument for humanity," Mitsotakis said on Monday during a formal ceremony at the Acropolis Museum.

The fragments returned on Monday include part of the head of a youth. The rest of the sculpture is currently kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris, reports Xinhua news agency.

Until now, the 10 fragments were kept in the storerooms of the National Archaeological Museum.

"This is a first, but very important step in the effort to collect here, at the Acropolis Museum, all the smaller and larger parts of the Parthenon's decorative sculptures that are now scattered in various museums around the world," Mitsotakis said.

The Greek sculptures have been the subject of a dispute between Athens and London for decades.

Large parts of the sculptures are currently exhibited at the British Museum in London.

In the early 19th century, while Greece was still under Ottoman Empire rule, half of the sculptures of the Parthenon were removed by the UK diplomat Lord Elgin.

For decades, Greeks have repeatedly asked for them to be returned.