Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Parthenon Sculptures: Moving on?

Parthenon frieze © David Gill
The 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Parthenon marbles in the British Museum is being marked. The anniversary is explored by Contantine Sandis ("Britain has kept the ‘Elgin Marbles’ for 200 years – now it's time to pass them on", The Conversation June 7, 2016). He suggests:
The time is right for all surviving sculptures to be reunited under this single roof [The New Acropolis Museum]. They should be displayed, for free, in a joint Greek and British international museum. This bicentenary provides the perfect opportunity for the two nations to collaborate instead of bicker over ownership. The British Museum would be praised worldwide for all its actions, culminating in a collaborative partnership that genuinely benefits humanity. It is high time that ownership of the past became a thing of the past and we began to think in terms of joint custody instead.
These are architectural marbles, and they need to be reunited visually in the same city as the extant monument, the Parthenon, that forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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We agree that it is time the Parthenon Marbles were reunited but will the British Government and the British Museum ever agree? Greater pressure will have to be brought on the British Government that does not listen to the voice of its own people on this issue.

Paul Barford said...

As Britain prepares to Leave Europe and sever links with the community of European nations, this is clearly the time for the Marbles to go back to Athens. They are clearly part of the European cultural heritage not the British.


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