(Bloomberg) -- Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he wants to preserve good relations with London, following a cancellation of his meeting with his British counterpart Rishi Sunak amid a dispute over the so-called Parthenon Sculptures.
“I certainly want to leave this unfortunate incident behind me, but it always takes two to tango,” Mitsotakis said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua on Friday. “In the spirit of longstanding good relations our two countries have, which I surely intend to preserve, I don’t have much to add,” he said.
Earlier this week, Sunak canceled — at the last minute — a one-on-one meeting with Mitsotakis that was scheduled for Tuesday. Sunak accused Mitsotakis of failing to comply with an agreement not to comment on the historical artifacts, sometimes referred to as the Elgin Marbles, with Greek officials saying there was no such deal.
Mitsotakis expressed his annoyance immediately after he was informed of the cancellation. When he went back to Greece, he played down the issue saying that relations between the two countries wouldn’t be affected.
The sculptures are housed in London’s British Museum and both countries claim them as their own. In recent years, the sides had been close to resolving the dispute by brokering an arrangement whereby they could be seen in Athens, from where they were taken by British diplomat Lord Elgin in the early 19th century.
Read More: Why Parthenon Marbles Fuel a 200-Year Dispute Between UK, Greece
--With assistance from Eleni Chrepa.
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