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The Greek president has escalated a campaign for the return of the Elgin Marbles, attacking their home in the British Museum as a “murky prison”.

Speaking in Athens, Prokopis Pavlopoulos challenged British officials to “come here and make the comparison” with the city’s Acropolis Museum, where he suggested the artefacts could alternatively be displayed.

He contrasted the “light” Athens building with the “murky, if I may say, prison” of the British Museum in central London.

DO NOT RECROP - President of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos
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Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos wants the sculptures back in Athens

Mr Pavlopoulos added the marbles, which are named after Lord Elgin, the 19th century British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, were being held as “trophies” in the UK.

The 2,500-year-old sculptures are the subject of a centuries-long battle between London and Athens.

Greece claims Lord Elgin removed the marbles from the Parthenon in Athens around 1805, while “acting with the full knowledge and permission of the Ottoman authorities”.

The country has repeatedly requested their return since gaining independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1832.

Signage is pictured outside the The British Museum in central London on August 24, 2018. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
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The British Museum has been branded a ‘murky prison’

It stepped up the campaign in 2009 by opening a new museum at the foot of a hill, atop which sits the ancient Acropolis.

The new building holds the sculptures that Lord Elgin left behind, alongside plaster cast copies of the missing pieces, lit by the sun coming through a glass wall looking over the original site.

“This museum can host the marbles,” Mr Pavlopoulos said, adding: “We are fighting a holy battle for a monument which is unique.”

The Elgin Marbles housed in the British Museum. Pic: Andrew Dunn
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The marbles are displayed in London in a gallery with a skylight. Pic: Andrew Dunn

Those marbles displayed in the British Museum are in a gallery lit by a long skylight.

A museum spokesperson said the sculptures are shown “as the great achievement of ancient Athens and are seen by up to six million visitors from around the world every year, free of charge” – while the Acropolis Museum shows “approximately half of what survives” of the marbles.

They added: “The trustees remain convinced that the current locations of the Parthenon sculptures allow different and complementary stories to be told about the surviving sculptures, highlighting their significance for world culture and affirming the universal legacy of ancient Greece.”

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Shootout in Sri Lanka as police raid suspected bomb factory | World News

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A shootout has been reported in Sri Lanka as armed forces raided a suspected bomb factory.

The army and police were attempting to search a location thought to have been used to manufacture suicide vests when they were shot at.

The incident happened in Kalmunai, south of Batticaloa, in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings that left more than 250 dead.

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Game Of Thrones fans aren’t happy with this Daenerys Targaryen waxwork | Ents & Arts News

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She is Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, a queen who could soon claim the Iron Throne.

So it is only fitting she should have a waxwork in her honour – but perhaps makers could have made it a bit more… well, a bit more Daenerys-like.

Dublin’s National Wax Museum’s new addition pays homage to the Game Of Thrones character, played by Emilia Clarke, but has been widely mocked online.

“Wow, Winter’s really taken its toll,” said one commenter on the venue’s Instagram post, referencing one of the series’ most famous lines: “Winter is coming.”

“How do you f*** this up with all the technology there is,” said another user.

“Oh my god WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER,” said another post.

Pic: HBO/Sky Atlantic
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The real Daenerys, with boyfriend/nephew Jon Snow. Pic: HBO/Sky Atlantic

Many have said the figure looks more like Legolas from Lord Of The Rings, who was played by actor Orlando Bloom, or Lucius Malfoy, played by Jason Isaacs in the Harry Potter films.

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They might have a point…

Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter
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Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter
Orlando Bloom as Legolas in Lord of the Rings
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Orlando Bloom as Legolas in Lord of the Rings

Daenerys is not the only famous face to be immortalised in less-than-flattering wax or stone.

Remember the Christian Ronaldo bust? Mo Salah‘s? And Beyonce has had numerous sculptures which haven’t quite lived up to the real Queen Bey.

:: How many times can Beyonce statues get it wrong?

A bust of Cristiano Ronaldo has caused a storm on the internet
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This statue of Cristiano Ronaldo was eventually replaced
The statue features Mo Salah with his arms outstretched
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Not sure if Mo Salah’s statue is in proportion

Statues of Michael Jackson, Lucille Ball and Diego Maradona have also been ridiculed in recent years.

Clarke herself has yet to comment on her own figure, but let’s hope Daenerys sees the funny side.

Should she decide to unleash those dragons, it wouldn’t last long.



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Emiliano Sala’s father dies three months after footballer’s fatal plane crash | World News

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The father of Emiliano Sala has died three months after the Premier League footballer was killed in a plane crash.

Horacio Sala, 58, suffered a fatal heart attack in Argentina, the mayor of his hometown Progreso said.

“2019 has been very hard on us,” Julio Muller told local media.

“I think Horacio couldn’t get over what happened to Emi.

“Every news he heard about the investigation was really tough for him.”

A plane carrying Emiliano Sala crashed on 21 January, just two days after he had completed a £15m move from French club Nantes to Cardiff City.

The Argentinian striker was travelling to the Welsh capital in a private plane with pilot David Ibbotson when it went down in the English Channel near Alderney.

Horacio Sala described his anguish after the wreckage was discovered, telling Argentinian television: “I cannot believe it. This is a dream. A bad dream. I am desperate.”

Horacio Sala was visibly emotional during a vigil for his son in February
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Horacio Sala was visibly emotional during a vigil for his son in February

The footballer’s body was recovered on 7 February after a privately-funded search was launched, while Mr Ibbotson remains missing.

It has also emerged that one of Emiliano Sala’s best friends died last week in a car crash.

Sebastian Rabellino was a footballer for San Martin de Progeso, the club where Sala started his career as a youth player.

Following Sala’s death, Cardiff City and Nantes are locked in a legal battle over his £15m transfer fee after the Premier League club refused to pay the first £5m instalment.

Emiliano Sala is Cardiff's record signing
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Emiliano Sala had signed for Cardiff City for £15m

It is understood Cardiff argue that Sala’s contract had been rejected by the Premier League because it contravened signing-on fee rules and was therefore “null and void”, Sky Sports News reported.

The club also claim that further contract clauses – proposed by Nantes – had not been met.

Meanwhile, Cardiff City has denied claims it failed to offer Emiliano Sala suitable travel arrangements before his ill-fated flight to the UK.

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