On their trip to Greece, the President welcomed Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to the country at an official dinner at the presidential mansion.
Speaking to the room Wednesday night, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos hoped for the “return of the Parthenon Marbles.”
He said: “It is precisely this tradition, combined with the bonds of friendship that connect us, which makes us hope for the return of the Parthenon Marbles and that the restoration of the unity of this glorious cradle of our Culture will ultimately be successful”.
Pavlopoulos was referring to the Classical Studies and the Greek civilization that takes place in the United Kingdom, as well as the cooperation between the two countries for the studies.
The Parthenon Marbles have been on display at the British Museum in the Duveen Gallery since 1816.
Pavlopoulos spoke of Prince Charles and Camilla’s visit as “historic”. It is the first time an heir to the throne has visited the country on an official visit. Queen Elizabeth has never officially visited, making it the only EU State in which she hasn’t.
He continued to speak about the battles that Britain and Greece fought together and the roles the philhellene Lord Byron and Admiral Edward Codrington played during the Greek War of Independence, he noted: “We never forget Lord Byron, [the Battle of] Navarino and the joint struggles both countries gave in two World Wars. This visit adds an important link in the chain of friendship we have had since the establishment of the Greek State.”
Prince Charles’ father, Prince Philip was born in Corfu, his father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.
Responding to the President’s speech, Prince Charles said: “I have only warm words about the two countries’ relationship. I hope and wish that we will have many opportunities in the future to meet again.