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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Greek government has launched a new bid to engage Britain in talks over the return to Athens of a celebrated group of ancient sculptures originally ornamenting the Parthenon Temple on the Acropolis.

Greece’s culture minister has written her British counterpart to formally propose negotiations on the future of the works — variously known as the Parthenon Sculptures, or Elgin Marbles.

A ministry statement said Monday Lydia Koniordou invited British officials to Greece to discuss the matter.

The case of the 5th century B.C. works in London’s British Museum is one of the longest-running cultural heritage disputes in the world.

The works were removed by a Scottish nobleman in the early 19th century when Athens was under Turkish rule. Greece wants them back, which Britain has resolutely refused to do.