THE PARTHENON IS A NATIONAL SYMBOL IN GREECE, BUT MANY OF THE MARBLE SCULPTURES THAT ADORNED THE TEMPLE ARE IN LONDON.

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The Parthenon is a national symbol in Greece, but many of the marble sculptures that adorned the temple are in London. The British Museum houses the ancient relics, famously called the Elgin Marbles, claiming it's better equipped to care for them.

But now, the Greek government has built a state of the art museum — at a price tag of $200 million — and it wants those sculptures back.

The British Museum's senior curator, Ian Jenkins, tells Guy Raz of npr Radio why the museum refuses to return the marbles to their original home.