14 NOVEMBER 1992, Page 34

Platonic relationship

Sir: Gavin Stamp recalls (Letters, 10 Octo- ber) Miss Melina Mercouri's 'histrionic campaign' in London for the return to Athens of the Elgin marbles. I was at a reception given for Miss Mercouri, where one of her aides rather fiercely reminded a sceptical group of us Brits that she was a famous film star. Furthermore, he said, she, like all Greeks, was 'a direct descendant of Aristotle and Plato', of whom we would 00 doubt have heard.

A young chap from the Foreign Office News Department regarded him over the edge of his glass. `If Miss Mercouri is descended from Plato,' he said 'then Omar Sharif is descended from Rameses IL' William Carrocher

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