Thursday 18 June 2009

The Parthenon Marbles: Athens or London?

Here are some thoughts on the display of the Parthenon marbles recorded live on the Athenian Akropolis.

Is a video blog helpful? Please leave your thoughts.


Tarquin said...

Yes, I liked the video blog (although it must be quite a lot more work). Thanks!

Nathan Elkins said...

Agreed. I also like the video blog.
Maybe its a problem with my browser (Firefox) though - I don't know - but the video window is larger than the blog frame and covers the information on the sidebars.



Excellent presentation. It is difficult to see how anyone can objectively disagree with the view you put forward. Kwame Opoku.

CaliforniaKat said...

Hi David, I've visited before but not left a comment. Today I will.

I've lived in Athens for 11 years, visited the Acropolis on my birthday for a good part of them. While in London, I saw the marbles for the first time and admired them, but only to the extent they were exhibits, not parts of a whole.

Many people wondered, "If so many of them are here, what is left of the Parthenon?" Well, not much. I was particularly saddened to see metopes literally sawed in half, with no respect at all for an arm or horse head. That's like cutting off part of the Mona Lisa's head, I think.

And while I honor and am grateful that the UK took invaluable care of them all these years, how can we deny that Elgin was sold these marbles by the Turks when Greece was occupied?

Did you see the Christopher Hitchens op-ed?

Thank you for sharing your video :)

Paul Barford said...

I liked the video presentation too. A compelling case indeed. Thanks David.

David Gill said...

Thank you all for this response. The full version can be watched on YouTube. I did indeed read the Hitchens post.

There is more to come on this topic.

Tom Stephenson said...

Interestingly, only a few days ago someone in London came up with conclusive proof that the marbles were originally painted with vibrant colours, as a lot of early sculpture was (photo technique which picks up on Egyptian Blue particles giving off strong infra-red radiation under light).

So it looks as though the white surface of the marble was never intended to be seen in any case. Whether or not this has any bearing on the moral rights of ownership is another thing, I suppose, but the 'original light' striking the surface of them would not have reflected back in the same way as it would now in the new museum.

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