Hit or Miss? Campaign for return of Elgin Marbles feeds off Clooney publicity

The profile of the Greek government's long-running appeal for the return of its national treasure from Britain received a boost when yesterday's papers prominently featured the arrival of its legal adviser Amal Clooney in Athens.

The Elgin Marbles
The Elgin Marbles
Has the publicity earned by the involvement of the Doughty Street human rights lawyer and her Hollywood husband George, who earlier this year made comments advising Britain to hand the Marbles back, helped the Greek government's cause?

How I See It

Mark Davies, comms director for the Post Office and former special adviser to the Foreign Office

After their high profile wedding in Venice, the Clooneys are very hot property at the moment and interest in the couple is unlikely to recede.

So while some in Greece believe that the campaign over the Elgin Marbles would be better led through appealing to hearts and minds rather than taking legal avenues, Amal Alamuddin Clooney's involvement could serve both purposes.

There is no question that coverage of her role – setting aside the trite nonsense that focuses on the contents of her wardrobe – will raise the issue in a way that puts pressure on the UK position and potentially garners sympathy for the Greek campaign from new audiences.

Critics have said the move has more to do with the Clooneys' own PR campaign – whether that's true or not, it won't harm the cause Mrs Clooney is representing one jot.


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