George Clooney versus Boris Johnson, on the Elgin Marbles

Subscribe George Clooney

Boris Johnson has taken umbrage with George Clooney's suggestion that the 2,500-year-old Elgin marbles should be returned to Athens. It's a perfectly reasonable comment to make, given the sculptures were removed from the Parthenon 200 years ago and now reside in the British Museum.

George Clooney The Monuments MenGeorge Clooney in 'The Monuments Men'

Clooney made the remarks during the UK promotion of his new movie The Monuments Men, which focuses on the rescuing of classic artworks stolen by the Nazis during World War II. At a press conference in London, the award-winning filmmaker said returning the marbles to Athens is "probably the right to do" and he was supported by actors Matt Damon and Bill Murray.

The marbles were removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin, who later sold them to the British government for $35,000. 

According to the Evening Standard, London Mayor Boris Johnson rejected Clooney's suggestion in typical.Boris style, saying, "Someone urgently needs to restore George Clooney's marbles. Here he is plugging a film about looted Nazi art without realising that Göring himself had plans to plunder the British Museum.

 "And where were the Nazis going to send the Elgin marbles? To Athens! This Clooney is advocating nothing less than the Hitlerian agenda for London's cultural treasures. He should stuff the Hollywood script and stick to history."

John Goodman George ClooneyJohn Goodman [R] and George Clooney [L] in 'The Monuments Men'

Clooney - who co-wrote, directed and stars in The Monuments Men, out in the UK this week - said the issue was first raised by a Greek journalist in Berlin on Saturday.

"I do think it's worth having an open discussion. It was one of a hundred questions at a press conference, a Greek reporter asking me about the marbles, and I just said I thought it was probably a good idea if they found a way back at some point," he said.

The Monuments Men premiere went ahead in a blustery Leicester Square last night, with Clooney joined by co-stars John Goodman, Jean Dujardin and Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville. See all our pictures from The Monuments Men premiere.

It's no secret the director has run into problems throughout production of the movie and it appears to have fallen short of many critics' expectations.

"Even low expectations won't help you here, with a story that's neither amusing nor dramatic," says James Mottram of The List.

"A frustratingly flat film that drifts from moment to moment with a curious lack of urgency and an overbearing sense of self-importance," said William Goss of

"This displays none of the nimble-witted sleight of hand, nor indeed old-fashioned suspense, of Argo, the last historical caper movie with which Clooney was involved," said Andrew Pulver of The Guardian.

The Monuments Men hits theaters in the UK on Friday (February 14, 2014).

Watch the Monuments Men trailer:


Tags: George Clooney - Boris Johnson

Subscribe George Clooney

More George Clooney

Amal Alamuddin's Family Reportedly Star Struck And "Fangirling" Over George Clooney

Amal Alamuddin's family appear to be more than happy to welcome George Clooney to their family. Sources, speaking after the couple's second wedding celebrations, claim...

Tomorrowland Trailer

When young science enthusiast Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) fell into a spot of trouble with the local cops and went to retrieve her confiscated belongings...

Amal Clooney Named Most Powerful Female In London, Finishes 4th Overall

Amal Clooney's transformation from a successful human rights lawyer to a high-profile figure is practically complete as she has just been named the most powerful...

George Clooney Hits Comic-Con Touting Impressive 'Tomorrowland'

George Clooney injected New York Comic-Con with a little A-list power this week, surprising fans at the panel for Disney's Tomorrowland. Clooney drew thousands at...


Amal Alamuddin And George Clooney Kept The Wedding Tab Low

Let’s talk about George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin. Yes, again. The pair are now happily married and not generating too much news, but the latest...

Newlyweds George Clooney And Amal Alamuddin Are Living The Dream In Italy

George Clooney and the London-based lawyer/writer/editor/activist/all-round Renaissance woman Amal Alamuddin are yet to be legally married, but they’ve probably had enough wedding parties, ceremonies and...

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin Have Tied The Knot!

After months of the media reporting every move to do with their wedding, George Clooney and his fiancée Amal Alamuddin have married in Venice, Italy.The...

George Clooney is Deserved Recipient of Golden Globes' Lifetime Achievement

George Clooney, the Oscar-winning actor and producer, is to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award at next year's Golden Globes. Clooney will pick up...



George Clooney Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on George Clooney

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All