"I am dismayed that the British Prime Minister canceled our meeting (scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in London) just a few hours before it took place," Mistotakis said in a brief statement.

The two prime ministers were supposed to meet at noon on Tuesday in London, where Mitsotakis has been visiting since Sunday.

The Greek Prime Minister noted that "Greece's positions on the issue of the Parthenon marbles are well known. I was hoping to have the opportunity to discuss it with my British counterpart."

"Whoever believes in the justice and correctness of his positions is never afraid to face arguments," Mitsotakis said, according to AFP.

The Greek news agency quoted government sources as saying the British prime minister appeared to be dismayed by comments his Greek counterpart made to the BBC on Sunday.

Mitsotakis had said that keeping part of the Parthenon marbles outside Greece was like "splitting the Mona Lisa in half."

Mitsotakis explained: "It's not a matter of ownership for me, it's a matter of recollecting marbles, some of which are in the Acropolis Museum and the other part in the British Museum in London."

A spokesman for Sunak said earlier Monday that the British prime minister had "no intention" to facilitate the return of marble sculptures to Athens.

Athens has been demanding for decades the return of the Parthenon sculptures in the British Museum in London, insisting the sculptures were "looted" when the country was under the Ottoman Empire.

London authorities maintain that the sculptures were obtained "in 1802 legally" through British diplomat Lord Elgin, who sold them to the British Museum.

Sunak's spokesman told reporters that the prime minister had always been "steadfast" in his position and considered the Parthenon marbles to be "important" to the UK, which has "preserved" this heritage "for generations".

The Parthenon temple, built in the fifth century BC to honor the goddess Athena, was partially destroyed and looted in 1687.

Earlier this year, the Vatican returned to Greece three marble sculptures from the Parthenon temple that it had kept for centuries.