Elgin Marbles, British Museum, London : Frise West, II, 2Gavin.collins/Wikicommons

Irish actor Liam Neeson has told Greek TV that Britain should return the Elgin Marbles to Greece.

In 1801, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Lord Elgin, took the 2,500-year-old Ancient Greek treasures from the Parthenon. They are housed in the British Museum and are currently on display as part of the exhibition Defining Beauty: the Body in Greek Art.

"The British must return them, full stop," the 62-year-old actor told a reporter. "Give them back from where they were stolen. They must be returned."

"Ac marbles" by Unknown - Photographed by w:en:User:Adam Carr.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ac_marbles.jpg#/media/File:Ac_marbles.jpg

"Ac marbles" by Unknown - Photographed by w:en:User:Adam Carr.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ac_marbles.jpg#/media/File:Ac_marbles.jpg

According to the Telegraph, Neeson’s comments echoed those of fellow actor George Clooney, who last year told a Greek journalist that it would be “very nice” if the sculptures, which have been a constant source of conflict between the two countries, were returned to Greece.

Later Clooney said: "I did a little research just to make sure I wasn’t completely out of my mind. Even in England the polling is in favor of returning the marbles from the Pantheon [sic], the Pantheon Marbles."

London mayor Boris Johnson mocked Clooney for calling for them to be returned to ‘the Pantheon,’ which is a temple in Rome.

Clooney’s wife, human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, is also part of the campaign and was drafted in by the Greek government as an advisor on a case aimed at securing the marbles’ return to Athens.

Alamuddin has said that Greece has “just cause” in its fight, and blamed the “intransigence” of the UK in the decades long stand-off.