Athens (AFP) - The return of the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum -- an issue taken up by the new Mrs Clooney -- concerns not only concern Greece but is a matter of "global cultural heritage," the Greek culture minister said Tuesday.
The latest offensive by Athens to regain the Parthenon sculptures has attracted huge media attention because one of the lawyers hired by the Greek government is Amal Alamuddin Clooney, the new bride of Hollywood actor George Clooney.
The sculptures, taken from the Parthenon by British diplomat Lord Elgin in 1803, have been a bone of contention between the British and Greek governments for decades.
"The reunification of the Parthenon marbles is a major issue... we will try to attain this goal with all seriousness, conviction and optimism not only in the name of Greece but in the name of global cultural heritage," said Costas Tassoulas.
He was speaking after meeting Alamuddin Clooney and her boss at lawyers at London's Doughty Street Chambers.
The lawyers will give a press conference on Wednesday with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Tassoulas said he had held discussions with the British lawyers on the "legal ideas and proposals" regarding the restitution claim.
"The final strategy will be decided by Greece and nobody else," he said.
Greek actress Melina Mercouri, who later became culture minister, has waged a relentless campaign to have the Elgin Marbles returned.