George and Amal Clooney quickly became one of the world’s favorite couples, but to some, it seemed like the pairing came out of nowhere. The couple’s courtship was surprisingly low-key for such high-power figures. Was it all really thanks to current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson?
George Clooney Draws Monumental Attention
All the way back in 2014, Clooney was promoting The Monuments Men, which told the story of a coalition of men dedicated to preventing Nazis from stealing or destroying works of art in World War II. Around the same time, there was renewed debate over the Elgin Marbles, a series of ancient marble carvings originally found in the famous Greecian monument, the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens.
The marbles have been housed in the British Museum since they were controversially taken in the early 1800s by a nobleman under suspicious circumstances. Given his personal attachment to the legacy of the Monuments Men’s mission, Clooney was asked whether or not the Elgin Marbles should be returned to their homeland given the fact that some likened the situation to looting. The superstar actor unsurprisingly said that he thought the artworks should be given back, and that apparently didn’t sit well with the then-mayor of London at the time — Boris Johnson.
On the opposite side of Clooney’s characteristic response was Johnson’s strongly-worded retort. “Someone urgently needs to restore George Clooney’s marbles,” Johnson declared, adding,
This Clooney is advocating nothing less than the Hitlerian agenda for London’s cultural treasures.
Looking back at the spat years later, Clooney laughed about it, recalling how the now-PM “literally compared me to Hitler” over the ordeal. “It was kind of great for me!” Clooney told the Observer. “Amal and I were secretly dating at the time. No one knew. There was all this uproar about what I’d said. And I was meeting Amal for dinner that night.”
As it would turn out, Amal — then known as Amal Alamuddin — was one of the attorneys representing the Greek side of the issue, arguing for the safe return of the valuable artifacts. Amal and George Clooney’s discussion on that date centered around the marbles and sparked the couple’s united passion for international justice and further guided them along the path to their incredibly strong marriage. Though he likely didn’t appreciate the Hitler comparison at the time, the A-lister admitted that he owed a little something to the notoriously messy-haired Johnson. “I’ll send him a note,” he slyly said. “A thank you note. And a comb.”