Who We Are

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Our Composition, Supporters and Aims


We are a group of British people who having considered the case for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles strongly support it and wish to campaign to achieve it.



The inspiration came from Melina Mercouri's passionate appeal to help return the Parthenon Marbles to their rightful home in Athens, at the International Conference of Ministers of Culture in Mexico, August 1982. The idea to set up a British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles came from James Cubitt, a distinguished British architect. He firmly believed that the Parthenon Marbles, as integral architectural members of a unique and internationally valuable monument, should be assembled together in a museum as close to the Acropolis as possible. This would restore the beauty and meaning of the Parthenon, as well as its physical and scholarly integrity. The aims of the Committee, as originally defined, are as follows:

"To secure the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece in accordance with the resolution of the UNESCO Conference of Ministers of Culture held in Mexico on 4 August 1982. To this end - we intend to present the case as fully as possible to the British public and to bring the most effective pressure on the Trustees of the British Museum and the British Government. "

The Committee was then set up in 1983 under the chairmanship of Robert Browning, Emeritus Professor of Greek at the University of London, an eminent scholar and polymath, internationally renowned and universally respected. James Cubitt, well known and respected architect was the first honorary member for the Committee, sadly he died shortly after it was set up. Eleni Cubitt, film producer and wife of James Cubitt became the Secretary, she retired from active day to day duties in 2012.

The first Members that joined the Committee were:

  • Christopher Price - journalist and broadcaster, former MP who had chaired the Arts and Education Committee for many years at the House of Commons.
  • Brian Clark - playwright well known for his play Whose Life Is It Anyway?
  • Professor Sir Michael Dummett
  • Professor George Forrest
  • Professor John Gould

Chairmen of the Committee:

  • Robert Browning , Emiritus Professor of Greek at the University of London (1983-1997)
  • Graham Binns, arts and broadcasting administrator and campaigner (1997-2002)
  • Anthony Snodgrass, Fellow of the British Academy, Professor Emiritus of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge (2002-2010)
  • Eddie O’Hara, former MP for Knowsley South, (2010-2016)


Deputy Chairman of the Committee:

The Committee is now made up of:

  • Eleni Cubitt - Founder
  • Professor Anthony Snodgrass- Honorary President
  • Dame Janet Suzman - Chairperson
  • Profesor Paul Cartledge - Vice Chairman
  • George Bizos SC - distinguished South African Human Rights Lawyer who defended Nelson Mandela. He was appointed Ambassador of Hellenism by the Greek Government in 2006. He is a keen supporter of the Return
  • Dr Chris Stockdale - fund raising events including swimming between Paros and Delos, cycling from the British Museum in London to the Acropolis in Athens
  • Keith Hunter - OBE
  • Professor Judith Herrin - distinguished scholar
  • Professor Oliver Taplin - distinguished scholar
  • Dr Peter Thonemann
  • Professor Edith Hall
  • Professor Constantine Sandis
  • Benjamin Ramm
  • Alexi Kaye Campbell
  • Christina Borg
  • Stuart O'Hara
  • Phil Reeve - IT

As soon as the Committee was established it attracted notable supporters. To name only a few:

  • Sir John Mortimer - CBE, QC
  • Lord (Ted) Willis
  • C.M. Woodhouse DSO - distinguished soldier, scholar and one-time MP
  • Lord Ponsonby - at that time Labour Whip at the House of Lords
  • Janet Suzman
  • Spike Milligan

And from across the pond:

  • Tom Hanks
  • Robin Williams

The Committee has also received great support over the years from a number of distinguished actors such as:

  • Judi Dench
  • Vanessa Redgrave
  • Ian McKellen
  • Fiona Shaw

More recent supporter to the cause include:

  • Joanna Lumley
  • Stephen Fry
  • George & Amal Clooney
  • Liam Neeson


Our Sponsors


We could not complete the picture of 'Who Are We?' if we did mention our sponsors whom we were fortunate to have and who financed our campaign all these years.

They are too many to mention individually but two must be named:

  • Nana Mouskouri - for having most generously financed our very successful Travelling Photographic Display. This display has visited a large number of venues in Britain, esp. universities, and has also travelled to the European Parliament in Brussels, to the Council of Europe in Strasburg and to the Olympic stadium in Australia, everywhere winning friends and supporters.
  • Mr. John Polyzoides - an eminent orthopaedic surgeon and his English wife Jean who have founded the "Friends of the British Committee "and very successfully organised a Marathon swim from Delos to Paros in 2000, by the indefatigable Dr. Stockdale, to raise both the profile of the Marbles as well as some funds.



Our Work


The British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles has achieved a great deal since it was formed including:

  • The Committee’s first victory was when the British Museum stopped referring to the Marbles as the Elgin Marbles and started calling them the Parthenon Marbles.
  • The Committee was also instrumental in the publication of Christopher Hitchens book and in May 2008, the third edition was launched in London.This edition has a preface by Nobel Laureate, Nadine Gordimer.
  • The latest Mori poll results(September 2008) showed that: 69% of those familiar with the marbles debate support return, as opposed to 19% who oppose it (50% of the 2,109 people asked had knowledge of the marbles debate).
  • The Committee has initiated many debates, which the British Museum have refused to participate in. The last debate took place at Cambridge University in February 2008 and the vote was 114 for the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures in the British Museum to Greece and 46 against.
  • The archives of the Committee are kept at Kings College, London, in the Department of Greek History.

The British Committee, is not just a lobby group, but by force of demand, it has become a significant information center and contact point concerning the history of the Parthenon sculptures, their removal from the monument and the case for the return. This is all thanks to the substantial archives we have acquired over the years and includes the latest results of further research into the legality of the acquisition and the treatment of the Marbles whilst in the UK.

Every week we receive a number of requests for information, from all over the world and especially from students who wish to do further research, many preparing doctoral theses. We also receive pledges and support and many requests for speakers from various educational establishments and associations that wish to hold a conference or a debate on this subject.

The Information Centre for the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles is managed by Marlen Godwin. To contact her please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

And finally, we have been asked many times about the origins of the Committee's first logo. If you are interested in learning more, please read our article on The Horse of Selene, James Cubitt, and the Committee logo (1983-2011).