Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Parthenon Marbles: an unstoppable moral and practical case?

Neil MacGregor of the British Museum was talking about the Parthenon marbles on tonight's Front Row on BBC Radio 4 (details and BBC iPlayer).

He was asked by Mark Lawson is there was now an "unstoppable moral and practical case" to return the Parthenon sculptures to Greece. Did MacGregor think that the opening of the Acropolis Museum changed the issue?

There was a resounding "no".

MacGregor seemed to suggest that it was "a good thing" for "half" the sculptures to be in Athens and the other portion to be in London. He suggested that the idea of reuniting the architectural sculptures from this dismembered fifth century BCE Athenian building in a single archaeological museum within sight of the Parthenon was a "political" issue.

He also commented that in Britain it was possible to separate politics from cultural issues.

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