Turk ruler boycotts opening of Acropolis Museum

I see Recip Tayyip Erdogan called off at the last minute his trip to Athens to attend the opening of the New Acropolis Museum. Apparently, the Turk prime minister cited health reasons, but Cypriot TV news reported he was upset by the robust attitude Greece took against Turkey at yesterday's EU summit meeting in Brussels over the illegal immigrants the Turks have been deliberately dumping in Greece. Look at the impudent way the Turks behave: not losing any opportunity to show their displeasure and expecting us all to recoil when they do so, as if Greece was an unruly province of the Ottoman empire. Erdogan should never have been invited in the first place to an event celebrating Greek culture and its resurrection. The missionary notion that exposing the Turk to Greek culture will civilise him is mistaken.

Talking of barbarians, it's worth pointing out – in case anyone was under any illusions – that the main reason the British won't return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece is because the British are philistines; small-minded, small-hearted philistines. The British museum, where the marbles are shabbily displayed, for those of you who don't know, is a dark and gloomy place, which has nothing British in it, because the British have produced nothing of worth to put in it: there is, of course, no such thing as British civilisation. If the British weren't philistines, then they might be able to overcome their selfish and petty concerns that returning the marbles will diminish the prestige of the British museum, reduce visitor numbers and adversely affect the financial viability of the museum. Britain's rejection of Greek demands, then, ultimately, has to do with money. Britain is a rich country, but spends next to nothing on culture and the arts, which are always squeezed and fighting for survival. It's revealing that while Greece was spending £110m on the Acropolis Museum, the British spent £800m on building Wembley football stadium and £700m on the Millennium Dome – an exhibition centre come entertainment complex.