|The Duveen Gallery © David Gill|
The position of the Encyclopedic Museum is presented: "Museums holding Greek works, whether in Greece, the UK or elsewhere in the world, are naturally united in a shared endeavour to show the importance of the legacy of ancient Greece. The British Museum is committed to playing its full part in sharing the value of that legacy for all humanity".
Visitor figures are pulled out: More than 6 million visitors a year visit the British Museum, and thereby the Parthenon Sculptures, free of charge.
Lambert concludes his letter: "In conclusion, therefore, we would invite our colleagues in Greek museums to continue to work with us and to explore new ways of enabling the whole world to see, study and enjoy the sculptures of the Parthenon". He could have added "... in London, not Athens".
Yet the statement misses the key point. The architectural and visual context for these wonderful fifth century sculptures is in Athens, under Greek light.
I recorded my thoughts on this topic back in 2009.