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The Elgin Marbles (), also known as the Parthenon Marbles ( el, Γλυπτά του Παρθενώνα), are a collection of
Classical Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family of languages, nati ...
marble sculpture Marble Marble is a metamorphic rock , a type of metamorphic rock Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock (geology), rock to new types of rock, in a process called metamorphism upright=1.35, Schematic represe ...

marble sculpture
s made under the supervision of the architect and sculptor
Phidias of the Parthenon to his Friends'' (1868) by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema Phidias or Pheidias (; grc, Φειδίας, ''Pheidias'';  480 – 430 BC) was a Hellenic civilization, Greek sculptor, painter, and architect. His Statue of Zeus ...

Phidias
and his assistants. They were originally part of the
temple of the Parthenon
temple of the Parthenon
and other buildings on the
Acropolis of Athens The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city. It may be a castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrati ...

Acropolis of Athens
. The collection is now on display in the
British Museum The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of Lond ...

British Museum
, in the purpose-built Duveen Gallery. From 1801 to 1812, agents of
Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine (; 20 July 176614 November 1841) was a Scottish nobleman, soldier, politician and diplomat, known primarily for the removal of marble sculptures (known as the Elgin Marbles) from the Pa ...
removed about half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as sculptures from the
Propylaea In ancient Greek architecture Ancient Greek architecture came from the Greek-speaking people (''Hellenic'' people) whose culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human ...

Propylaea
and
Erechtheum The Erechtheion (latinized as Erechtheum /ɪˈrɛkθiəm, ˌɛrɪkˈθiːəm/; Ancient Greek: Ἐρέχθειον, Greek: Ερέχθειο) or Temple of Athena Polias (Ancient Greek: Ναὸς τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς τῆς Πολιάδος, Greek ...

Erechtheum
,''Encyclopædia Britannica'', "Elgin Marbles", 2008, O.Ed. and had them transported by sea to Britain. Elgin argued as his authority for this that he had obtained an official decree (a
firman A firman ( fa, ''farmân''), or ferman (), at the constitutional level, was a royal mandate or decree issued by a sovereign in an . During various periods they were collected and applied as traditional bodies of law. The word firman comes fr ...
) from the
Sublime Porte , was known as the Sublime Porte until the 18th century. Image:DSC04009 Istanbul - La Sublime Porta - Foto G. Dall'Orto 25-5-2006.jpg, 300px, The later Sublime Porte proper in 2006 The Sublime Porte, also known as the Ottoman Porte or High Porte ...
, the central government of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
which, as ruler of
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
, was at that time the legal owner of the sculptures. This firman has not been found in the Ottoman archives despite its wealth of documents from the same period and its veracity is disputed. The
Acropolis Museum The Acropolis Museum ( el, Μουσείο Ακρόπολης, ''Mouseio Akropolis'') is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on t ...

Acropolis Museum
displays a portion of the complete
frieze In architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. A ...

frieze
, aligned in orientation and within sight of the
Parthenon The Parthenon (; grc, Παρθενών, , ; ell, Παρθενώνας, , ) is a former temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect te ...

Parthenon
, with the position of the missing elements clearly marked and space left should they be returned to
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...

Athens
. In Britain, the acquisition of the collection was supported by some, while some others, such as
Lord Byron George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, ( el, Λόρδος Βύρωνας, translit=Lórdos Výronas, translit-std=ISO; 22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), simply known as Lord Byron, was an English poet and peer Peer may refer to: Socio ...

Lord Byron
, likened the Earl's actions to
vandalism Vandalism is the action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property. The term includes property damage Property damage ( cf. criminal damage in England and Wales) is damage or destruction of real Real may r ...

vandalism
or
looting Looting is the act of stealing, or the taking of goods by force, typically in the midst of a military, political, or other social crisis, such as war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government i ...
.Encyclopædia Britannica, ''The Acropolis'', p.6/20, 2008, O.Ed. Following a public debate in Parliament and its subsequent
exoneration Exoneration occurs when the conviction for a crime is reversed, either through demonstration of innocence, a flaw in the conviction, or otherwise. Attempts to exonerate convicts are particularly controversial in death penalty cases, especially w ...
of Elgin, he sold the Marbles to the
British government ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
in 1816. They were then
passed into the trusteeship
passed into the trusteeship
of the British Museum, where they are now on display in the purpose-built Duveen Gallery. After gaining its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1832, the newly founded Greek state began a series of projects to restore its looted monuments and art. It has expressed its disapproval of Elgin's removal of the Marbles from the Acropolis and the Parthenon, which is regarded as one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. International efforts to repatriate the Marbles to Greece were intensified in the 1980s by then Greek Minister of Culture
Melina Mercouri Maria Amalia "Melina" Mercouri (, 18 October 1920 – 6 March 1994) was a Greek actress, singer, socialist and politician. She came from a prominent political family. She received an Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as th ...

Melina Mercouri
, and there are now many organisations actively campaigning for the Marbles' return, several united as part of the
International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon SculpturesThe International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures is a campaign group, which joins together various organizations around the world whose primary aim is to bring about the reunification of all the surviving Parthenon Scu ...
. The
Greek government Government of Greece (officially: Government of the Hellenic Republic; also Greek Government or Hellenic Government)Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...

Athens
so as to be unified with the remaining marbles and for the complete Parthenon frieze sequence to be restored, through diplomatic, political and legal means. In 2014,
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
offered to mediate between Greece and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
to resolve the dispute, although this was later turned down by the British Museum on the basis that UNESCO works with government bodies, not trustees of museums. In 2021, UNESCO issued its first decision on the Parthenon Marbles, calling for the United Kingdom to return them to Greece.


Background

Built in the ancient era, the Parthenon was extensively damaged by earthquakes. Also, during the Sixth Ottoman–Venetian War (1684–1699) against the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, the defending Turks fortified the Acropolis and used the Parthenon as a castle and gunpowder store. On 26 September 1687, a Venetian artillery round, fired from the Hill of Philopappus, ignited the gunpowder, and the resulting explosion blew up the Parthenon, and the building was partly destroyed. The explosion blew out the building's central portion and caused the
cella A cella (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Ro ...

cella
's walls to crumble into rubble. Three of the four walls collapsed, or nearly so, and about three-fifths of the sculptures from the frieze fell. About three hundred people were killed in the explosion, which showered marble fragments over a significant area. For the next century and a half, portions of the remaining structure were scavenged for building material and looted of any remaining objects of value.


Acquisition

In November 1798 the Earl of Elgin was appointed as "Ambassador Extraordinary and
Minister Plenipotentiary An envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, usually known as a minister, was a diplomatic head of mission who was ranked below ambassador An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high-ranking diplomat who represents a state and ...
of His Britannic Majesty to the Sublime Porte of
Selim III Selim III ( ota, سليم ثالث, Selim-i sâlis; tr, III. Selim; 24 December 1761 – 28 July 1808) was the Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstrac ...
, Sultan of Turkey" (Greece was then part of the Ottoman Empire). Before his departure to take up the post he had approached officials of the British government to inquire if they would be interested in employing artists to take casts and drawings of the sculptured portions of the Parthenon. According to Lord Elgin, "the answer of the Government ... was entirely negative." Lord Elgin decided to carry out the work himself, and employed artists to take casts and drawings under the supervision of the Neapolitan court painter, Giovani Lusieri. According to a Turkish local,
marble Marble is a metamorphic rock , a type of metamorphic rock Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock (geology), rock to new types of rock, in a process called metamorphism upright=1.35, Schematic representation of ...

marble
sculptures that fell were being burned to obtain
lime Lime refers to: * Lime (fruit), a green citrus fruit * Lime (material), inorganic materials containing calcium, usually calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide * Lime (color), a color between yellow and green Lime may also refer to: Botany * Austra ...
for building. Although his original intention was only to document the sculptures, in 1801 Lord Elgin began to remove material from the Parthenon and its surrounding structures under the supervision of Lusieri. Pieces were also removed from the
Erechtheion The Erechtheion (latinized as Erechtheum /ɪˈrɛkθiəm, ˌɛrɪkˈθiːəm/; Ancient Greek: Ἐρέχθειον, Greek: Ερέχθειο) or Temple of Athena Polias (Ancient Greek: Ναὸς τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς τῆς Πολιάδος, Greek: ...

Erechtheion
, the
Propylaia In ancient Greek architecture Ancient Greek architecture came from the Greek-speaking people (''Hellenic'' people) whose culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human S ...
, and the
Temple of Athena Nike 250px, Painting of the Temple of Athena Nike, by Werner Carl-Friedrich, from 1877 The Temple of Athena Nike (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic R ...

Temple of Athena Nike
, all inside the
Acropolis An acropolis (Ancient Greek: ἀκρόπολις, ''akropolis''; from ''akros'' (άκρος) or ''akron'' (άκρον), "highest, topmost, outermost" and ''polis'' (πόλις), "city"; plural in English: ''acropoles'', ''acropoleis'' or ''acropol ...

Acropolis
. The marbles were taken from Greece to
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Italy, east of Tunisi ...
, then a British protectorate, where they remained for a number of years until they were transported to Britain. The excavation and removal was completed in 1812 at a personal cost to Elgin of £74,240 (equivalent to £ in pounds). Elgin intended to use the marbles to decorate
Broomhall House Broomhall House is the family seat of the Earls of Elgin, three miles south-west of Dunfermline, sitting above the village of Limekilns and near the village of Charlestown, Fife, Charlestown, in Fife, Scotland. The building was designated as a li ...

Broomhall House
, his private home near
Dunfermline Dunfermline (; sco, Dunfaurlin, gd, Dùn Phàrlain) is a town and former Royal Burgh A royal burgh was a type of Scottish burgh A burgh is an autonomous The federal subject in Russia">Federal subjects of Russia">federal subjec ...
in Scotland, but a costly divorce suit forced him to sell them to settle his debts. Elgin sold the Parthenon Marbles to the British government for £35,000, less than half of what it cost him to procure them, declining higher offers from other potential buyers, including
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
.


Description

The Parthenon Marbles acquired by Elgin include some 21 figures from the statuary from the east and west
pediment Pediments are gablesGables may refer to: * The plural of gable, portion of walls between the lines of sloping roofs * Ken Gables (1919-1960), Major League Baseball pitcher * Gables, Nebraska, an unincorporated community in the United States * Ga ...

pediment
s, 15 of an original 92
metope Metope from the Parthenon marbles depicting part of the battle between the Centaurs and the Lapiths; 442–438 BC; marble; height: 1.06 m; British Museum (London) In classical architecture, a metope (μετόπη) is a rectangular architectura ...
panels depicting battles between the
Lapiths The Lapiths (; grc, Λαπίθαι) are a group of legendary people in Greek mythology, whose home was in Thessaly, in the valley of the Peneus and on the mountain Pelion. Mythology Origin They were an Aeolians, Aeolian tribe who, like the My ...
and the
Centaur A centaur ( ; grc, κένταυρος, kéntauros; ), or occasionally hippocentaur, is a creature from Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture share ...

Centaur
s, as well as 75 metres of the
Parthenon Frieze The Parthenon frieze is the high-relief Mount Pentelicus#Pentelic marble, Pentelic marble sculpture created to adorn the upper part of the Parthenon’s Cella, naos. It was sculpted between c. 443 and 437 BC, most likely under the direction of Ph ...
which decorated the horizontal course set above the interior architrave of the temple. As such, they represent more than half of what now remains of the surviving sculptural decoration of the Parthenon. Elgin's acquisitions also included objects from other buildings on the
Athenian Acropolis The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several Ancient Greek architecture, ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous ...

Athenian Acropolis
: a
Caryatid A caryatid ( ; grc, Καρυάτις, pl. ) is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a structural element that transmits, th ...

Caryatid
from
Erechtheum The Erechtheion (latinized as Erechtheum /ɪˈrɛkθiəm, ˌɛrɪkˈθiːəm/; Ancient Greek: Ἐρέχθειον, Greek: Ερέχθειο) or Temple of Athena Polias (Ancient Greek: Ναὸς τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς τῆς Πολιάδος, Greek ...

Erechtheum
; four slabs from the parapet frieze of the
Temple of Athena Nike 250px, Painting of the Temple of Athena Nike, by Werner Carl-Friedrich, from 1877 The Temple of Athena Nike (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic R ...

Temple of Athena Nike
; and a number of other
architectural Architecture (Latin ''architectura ''Architectura: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Baukunst'' is a biannual peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the wo ...

architectural
fragments of the Parthenon, Propylaia, Erechtheum, the Temple of Athene Nike, and the
Treasury of Atreus Reconstruction of one of the capitals from the Treasury of Atreus in the British Museum The Treasury of Atreus or Tomb of Agamemnon is a large ''tholos'' or beehive tomb , a beehive tomb romos entrance to the Treasury of Atreus . Of note are the ...

Treasury of Atreus
.


Legality of the removal from Athens

The Acropolis was at that time an
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
military fort, so Elgin required special permission to enter the site, the Parthenon, and the surrounding buildings. He stated that he had obtained a
firman A firman ( fa, ''farmân''), or ferman (), at the constitutional level, was a royal mandate or decree issued by a sovereign in an . During various periods they were collected and applied as traditional bodies of law. The word firman comes fr ...
from the
Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phone ...

Sultan
which allowed his artists to access the site, but he was unable to produce the original documentation. However, Elgin presented a document claimed to be an English translation of an
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
copy made at the time. This document is now kept in the British Museum. Its authenticity has been questioned, as it lacked the formalities characterising edicts from the Sultan. Vassilis Demetriades, Professor of Turkish Studies at the University of Crete, has argued that "any expert in Ottoman diplomatic language can easily ascertain that the original of the document which has survived was not a firman". The document was recorded in an appendix of an 1816 parliamentary committee report
'The committee permission'
had convened to examine a request by Elgin asking the British government to purchase the Marbles. The report said that the document in the appendix was an accurate translation, in English, of an Ottoman firman dated July 1801. In Elgin's view it amounted to an Ottoman authorisation to remove the marbles. The committee was told that the original document was given to Ottoman officials in Athens in 1801. Researchers have so far failed to locate it despite the fact that firmans, being official decrees by the Sultan, were meticulously recorded as a matter of procedure, and that the Ottoman archives in Istanbul still hold a number of similar documents dating from the same period. The parliamentary record shows that the Italian copy of the firman was not presented to the committee by Elgin himself but by one of his associates, the clergyman Rev. Philip Hunt. Hunt, who at the time resided in Bedford, was the last witness to appear before the committee and stated that he had in his possession an Italian translation of the Ottoman original. He went on to explain that he had not brought the document, because, upon leaving Bedford, he was not aware that he was to testify as a witness. The English document in the parliamentary report was filed by Hunt, but the committee was not presented with the Italian translation in Hunt's possession. William St. Clair, a contemporary biographer of Lord Elgin, said he possessed Hunt's Italian document and "vouches for the accuracy of the English translation". The committee report states on page 69 "(Signed with a signet.) Seged Abdullah Kaimacan" - however, the document presented to the committee was "an English translation of this purported translation into Italian of the original ''firman''", and had neither signet nor signature on it, a fact corroborated by St. Clair. The 1967 study by British historian William St. Clair, ''Lord Elgin and the Marbles,'' stated the Sultan did not allow the removal of statues and reliefs from the Parthenon. The study judged a clause authorising the British to take stones “with old inscriptions and figures” probably meant items in the excavations of the site, not the art decorating the temples. The document allowed Elgin and his team to erect scaffolding so as to make drawings and mouldings in
chalk Chalk is a soft, white, porous Porosity or void fraction is a measure of the (i.e. "empty") spaces in a , and is a of voids over the total volume, between 0 and 1, or as a between 0% and 100%. Strictly speaking, some tests measure the "acce ...

chalk
or
gypsum Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral The sulfate minerals are a class of mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with ...

gypsum
, as well as to measure the remains of the ruined buildings and excavate the foundations which may have become covered in the 'ghiaja'' (meaning gravel, debris) and "...that when they wish to take away 'qualche'' (meaning 'some' or 'a few')pieces of stone with old inscriptions or figures thereon, that no opposition be made thereto". The interpretation of these lines has been questioned even by non-restitutionalists, particularly the word ''qualche'', which in modern language should be translated as ''a few'' but can also mean ''any''. According to non-restitutionalists, further evidence that the removal of the sculptures by Elgin was approved by the Ottoman authorities is shown by a second firman which was required for the shipping of the marbles from
Piraeus Piraeus ( ; el, Πειραιάς ; grc, Πειραιεύς ) is a port city The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Trieste.html"_;"title="Barcola_near_Trieste">Barcola_near_Trieste,_a_small_local_port A_port_is_a_ Barcola_near_Tr ...

Piraeus
. Many have questioned the legality of Elgin's actions, including the legitimacy of the documentation purportedly authorising them. A study by Professor
David Rudenstine David Rudenstine is the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law's Sheldon H. Solow Professor of Law. He teaches United States constitutional law. Rudenstine has been teaching at Cardozo since 1979 and is the author of ''The Day the Presses Stopped: A His ...
of the
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law is the law school A law school (also known as a law centre or college of law) is an institution specializing in legal education, usually involved as part of a process for becoming a lawyer within a given ...
concluded that the premise that Elgin obtained legal title to the marbles, which he then transferred to the British government, "is certainly not established and may well be false". Rudenstine's argumentation is partly based on a translation discrepancy he noticed between the surviving Italian document and the English text submitted by Hunt to the parliamentary committee. The text from the committee report reads "We therefore have written this Letter to you, and expedited it by Mr. Philip Hunt, an English Gentleman, Secretary of the aforesaid Ambassador" but according to the St. Clair Italian document the actual wording is "We therefore have written this letter to you and expedited it by N.N.". In Rudenstine's view, this substitution of "Mr. Philip Hunt" with the initials "N.N." can hardly be a simple mistake. He further argues that the document was presented after the committee's insistence that some form of Ottoman written authorisation for the removal of the marbles be provided, a fact known to Hunt by the time he testified. Thus, according to Rudenstine, "Hunt put himself in a position in which he could simultaneously vouch for the authenticity of the document and explain why he alone had a copy of it fifteen years after he surrendered the original to Ottoman officials in Athens". On two earlier occasions, Elgin stated that the Ottomans gave him written permissions more than once, but that he had "retained none of them." Hunt testified on March 13, and one of the questions asked was "Did you ever see any of the written permissions which were granted o Lord Elginfor removing the Marbles from the Temple of Minerva?" to which Hunt answered "yes", adding that he possessed an Italian translation of the original firman. Nonetheless, he did not explain why he had retained the translation for 15 years, whereas Elgin, who had testified two weeks earlier, knew nothing about the existence of any such document. English travel writer , an eyewitness, wrote that the
Dizdar {{for, people with the surname, Dizdar (surname) Dizdar ( fa, دزدار, translit=Dizdār, tr, dizdar, kale muhafızı) was the title given in the to a warden or commander, appointed to manage s and keep the fortress in its role as a defence ...
, the Ottoman fortress commander on the scene, attempted to stop the removal of the metopes but was bribed to allow it to continue. In contrast, John Merryman, Sweitzer Professor of Law at
Stanford Law School Stanford Law School (Stanford Law or SLS) is the law school A law school (also known as a law centre or college of law) is an institution specializing in legal education, usually involved as part of a process for becoming a lawyer within a ...
and also Professor of Art at
Stanford University Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Du ...

Stanford University
, putting aside the discrepancy presented by Rudenstine, argues that since the Ottomans had controlled Athens since 1460, their claims to the artefacts were legal and recognisable.
Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phone ...
Selim III Selim III ( ota, سليم ثالث, Selim-i sâlis; tr, III. Selim; 24 December 1761 – 28 July 1808) was the Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstrac ...
was grateful to the British for repelling
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
ic expansion, and unlike his Hellenophile ancestor
Mehmet II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Su ...
, the Parthenon marbles had no sentimental value to him. Further, that written permission exists in the form of the firman, which is the most formal kind of permission available from that government, and that Elgin had further permission to export the marbles, legalises his (and therefore the British Museum's) claim to the Marbles. He does note, though, that the clause concerning the extent of Ottoman authorisation to remove the marbles "is at best ambiguous", adding that the document "provides slender authority for the massive removals from the Parthenon ... The reference to 'taking away any pieces of stone' seems incidental, intended to apply to objects found while excavating. That was certainly the interpretation privately placed on the firman by several of the Elgin party, including Lady Elgin. Publicly, however, a different attitude was taken, and the work of dismantling the sculptures on the Parthenon and packing them for shipment to England began in earnest. In the process, Elgin's party damaged the structure, leaving the Parthenon not only denuded of its sculptures but further ruined by the process of removal. It is certainly arguable that Elgin exceeded the authority granted in the firman in both respects". The issue of firmans of this nature, along with universally required bribes, was not unusual at this time: In 1801 for example, and his assistant John Marten Cripps, obtained an authorisation from the governor of Athens for the removal of a statue of the goddess
Demeter In ancient Greek religion Ancient Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs, rituals, and Greek mythology, mythology originating in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and Cult (religious practice), cult ...

Demeter
which was at
Eleusis Eleusis ( el, Ελευσίνα ''Elefsina'', Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by s ...

Eleusis
, with the intervention of Italian artist Giovanni Battista Lusieri who was Lord Elgin's assistant at the time. Prior to Clarke, the statue had been discovered in 1676 by the traveller George Wheler, and since then several ambassadors had submitted unsuccessful applications for its removal, but Clarke had been the one to remove the statue by force, after bribing the '' waiwode'' of Athens and obtaining a firman, despite the objections and a riot, of the local population who unofficially, and against the traditions of the
iconoclast alt=A painting, 288px, In this Elizabethan work of propaganda, the top right of the picture depicts men busy pulling down and smashing icons, while power is shifting from the dying King Henry VIII at left, pointing to his far more staunchly Pr ...
ic Church, worshiped the statue as the uncanonised Saint Demetra (Greek: Αγία Δήμητρα). The people would adorn the statue with garlands, and believed that the goddess was able to bring fertility to their fields and that the removal of the statue would cause that benefit to disappear. Clarke also removed other marbles from Greece such as a statue of
Pan Pan may refer to: Prefix *''Pan-'', a prefix A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word. Adding it to the beginning of one word changes it into another word. For example, when the prefix ''un-'' is added to the word ''happy ...
, a figure of
Eros In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A b ...

Eros
, a comic mask, various reliefs and funerary
stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in English. or occasionally stela (plural ''stelas'' or ''stelæ''), ...

stele
s, amongst others. Clarke donated these to the
University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of ...
and subsequently in 1803 the statue of Demeter was displayed at the university library. The collection was later moved to the
Fitzwilliam Museum The Fitzwilliam Museum is the art and antiquities museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is a building or institution that Preservation (library and archival science), cares for and displays a collection (artwork), coll ...
in Cambridge where it formed one of the two main collections of the institution.


Contemporary reaction

The contemporary museum director in the
Louvre The Louvre ( ), or the Louvre Museum ( ), is the world's most-visited museum, and a historic landmark in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of Fr ...

Louvre
had no doubt around the legality of the acquisition of Lord Elgin. During the art restitutions of post-Napoleonic France to other European States,
Vivant Denon Dominique Vivant, Baron Denon (4 January 1747 – 27 April 1825) was a French artist, writer, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific stu ...

Vivant Denon
, then director of former Musee Napoleon then Louvre, wrote in a private letter to the French ambassador Talleyrand who was then engaged in the
Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna (, ) of 1814–1815 was an international diplomatic conference to reconstitute the European political order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon I Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) w ...

Congress of Vienna
: "If we yield to the claims (for art restitution) of Holland and Belgium, we deprive the Museum of one of its greatest assets, that of having a series of excellent colorists... Russia is not hostile, Austria has had everything returned, Prussia has a restoration more complete.... There remains only England, who has in truth nothing to claim, but who, since she has just bought the bas-reliefs of which Lord Elgin plundered the Temple at Athens, now thinks she can become a rival of the Museum and wants to deplete this Museum in order to collect the remains for her" (Denon to Talleyrand, quoted in Saunier, p. 114; Muintz, in Nouvelle Rev., CVII, 2OI).
Vivant Denon Dominique Vivant, Baron Denon (4 January 1747 – 27 April 1825) was a French artist, writer, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific stu ...

Vivant Denon
uses clearly the verb "plunder" in French. When the marbles were shipped to England, they were "an instant success among many" who admired the sculptures and supported their arrival, but both the sculptures and Elgin also received criticism from detractors. Lord Elgin began negotiations for the sale of the collection to the British Museum in 1811, but negotiations failed despite the support of British artists after the government showed little interest. Many Britons opposed purchase of the statues because they were in bad condition and therefore did not display the "ideal beauty" found in other sculpture collections. The following years marked an increased interest in classical Greece, and in June 1816, after parliamentary hearings, the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
offered £35,000 (equivalent to £ in pounds) in exchange for the sculptures. Even at the time the acquisition inspired much debate, although it was supported by "many persuasive calls" for the purchase.
Lord Byron George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, ( el, Λόρδος Βύρωνας, translit=Lórdos Výronas, translit-std=ISO; 22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), simply known as Lord Byron, was an English poet and peer Peer may refer to: Socio ...

Lord Byron
strongly objected to the removal of the marbles from
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
, denouncing Elgin as a vandal. His point of view about the removal of the Marbles from Athens is also mentioned in his narrative poem ''
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage ''Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'' is a long narrative poem Narrative poetry is a form of poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic ...
'', published in 1812, which itself was largely inspired by Byron's travels around the Mediterranean and the
Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between Europe's Geography of Europe, Balkan peninsula and Asia's Anatolia peninsula. The sea has an area of some 215,000 square kilometres. In ...

Aegean Sea
between 1809 and 1811:
Dull is the eye that will not weep to see Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed By British hands, which it had best behoved To guard those relics ne'er to be restored. Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved, And once again thy hapless bosom gored, And snatch'd thy shrinking gods to northern climes abhorred!
Byron was not the only one to protest against the removal at the time. Sir John Newport said: witnessed the removal of the metopes and called the action a "spoliation", writing that "thus the form of the temple has sustained a greater injury than it had already experienced from the Venetian artillery," and that "neither was there a workman employed in the undertaking ... who did not express his concern that such havoc should be deemed necessary, after moulds and casts had been already made of all the sculpture which it was designed to remove." When Sir
Francis Ronalds Sir Francis Ronalds FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United States * Family Re ...
visited Athens and Giovanni Battista Lusieri in 1820, he wrote that "If Lord Elgin had possessed real taste in lieu of a covetous spirit he would have done just the reverse of what he has, he would have removed the rubbish and left the antiquities." A parliamentary committee investigating the situation concluded that the monuments were best given "asylum" under a "free government" such as the British one. In 1810, Elgin published a defence of his actions, but the subject remained controversial. A public debate in Parliament followed Elgin's publication, and Parliament again exonerated Elgin's actions, eventually deciding to purchase the marbles for the "British nation" in 1816 by a vote of 82–30. Among the supporters of Elgin was the painter
Benjamin Robert Haydon Benjamin Robert Haydon (; 26 January 178622 June 1846) was a British painter Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in ...
. He was followed by
Felicia Hemans Felicia Dorothea Hemans (25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835) was an English poet. Two of her opening lines, "The boy stood on the burning deck" and "The stately homes of England", have acquired classic status. Ancestry Felicia Hemans' paternal g ...
in her ''Modern Greece: A Poem'' (1817), who there took direct issue with Byron, defying him with the question
And who may grieve that, rescued from their hands, Spoilers of excellence and foes of art, Thy relics, Athens! borne to other lands Claim homage still to thee from every heart?
and quoting Haydon and other defenders of their accessibility in her notes.
John Keats John Keats (31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821) was an English poet prominent in the second generation of Romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement of the 18t ...

John Keats
visited the British Museum in 1817 and recording his feelings in the
sonnet A sonnet is a poetic form Poetry (derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located ...
titled "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles".
William Wordsworth William Wordsworth (7 April 177023 April 1850) was an English Romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement of the 18th and 19th centuries ** Romantic music, of ...

William Wordsworth
also viewed the marbles and commented favourably on their aesthetics in a letter to Haydon. Following the exhibition of the marbles in the British Museum, they were later displayed in the specially constructed Elgin Saloon (1832) until the Duveen Gallery was completed in 1939. The crowds packing in to view them set attendance records for the museum.


Damage


Morosini

Prior damage to the marbles was sustained during successive wars, and it was during such conflicts that the Parthenon and its artwork sustained, by far, the most extensive damage. In particular, an explosion ignited by Venetian gun and cannon-fire bombardment in 1687, whilst the Parthenon was used as a munitions store during the
Ottoman rule Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman ( ar, عُثْمان, ‘uthmān). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empire The Ott ...
, destroyed or damaged many pieces of Parthenon art, including some of that later taken by Lord Elgin. It was this explosion that sent the marble roof, most of the
cella A cella (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Ro ...

cella
walls, 14 columns from the north and south
peristyle In Hellenistic Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek spoken and written durin ...

peristyle
s, and carved metopes and frieze blocks flying and crashing to the ground, destroying much of the artwork. Further damage to the Parthenon's artwork occurred when the Venetian general
Francesco Morosini Francesco Morosini (26 February 1619 – 16 January 1694) was the Doge of Venice from 1688 to 1694, at the height of the Great Turkish War. He was a member of a famous noble Venetian family (the Morosini family) which produced several Doges a ...

Francesco Morosini
looted the site of its larger sculptures. The tackle he was using to remove the sculptures proved to be faulty and snapped, dropping an over-life-sized sculpture of
Poseidon Poseidon (; grc-gre, Ποσειδῶν, ) was one of the Twelve Olympians upright=1.8, Fragment of a relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The ...

Poseidon
and the horses of
Athena Athena or Athene, often given the epithet An epithet (, ) is a byname, or a descriptive term (word or phrase), accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied ...

Athena
's chariot from the west pediment on to the rock of the Acropolis below.


War of Independence

The
Erechtheion The Erechtheion (latinized as Erechtheum /ɪˈrɛkθiəm, ˌɛrɪkˈθiːəm/; Ancient Greek: Ἐρέχθειον, Greek: Ερέχθειο) or Temple of Athena Polias (Ancient Greek: Ναὸς τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς τῆς Πολιάδος, Greek: ...

Erechtheion
was used as a munitions store by the
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks or Osmanlı Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic people The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe an ...
during the
Greek War of Independence The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution of 1821 or Greek Revolution ( el, Ελληνική Επανάσταση, ''Elliniki Epanastasi''; referred to by Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''É ...
(1821–1833) which ended the 355-year Ottoman rule of Athens. The Acropolis was besieged twice during the war, first by the Greeks in 1821–22 and then by the Ottoman forces in 1826–27. During the first siege the besieged Ottoman forces attempted to melt the lead in the columns to cast bullets, even prompting the Greeks to offer their own bullets to the Ottomans in order to minimize damage.Hitchens Christopher, ''The Elgin Marbles: Should They Be Returned to Greece?'', 1998, p.viii,


Elgin

Elgin consulted with Italian sculptor
Antonio Canova Antonio Canova (; 1 November 1757 – 13 October 1822) was an Italians, Italian Neoclassical sculpture, Neoclassical sculptor, famous for his marble sculptures. Often regarded as the greatest of the Neoclassical artists,. his sculpture was in ...

Antonio Canova
in 1803 about how best to restore the marbles. Canova was considered by some to be the world's best sculptural restorer of the time; Elgin wrote that Canova declined to work on the marbles for fear of damaging them further. To facilitate transport by Elgin, the columns' capitals and many metopes and frieze slabs were either hacked off the main structure or sawn and sliced into smaller sections, causing irreparable damage to the Parthenon itself. One shipload of marbles on board the British brig ''Mentor'' was caught in a storm off
Cape Matapan Cape Matapan ( el, Κάβο Ματαπάς, Maniot The Maniots or Maniates ( el, Μανιάτες) are a Greeks, Greek ethnic group native to the Mani Peninsula, located in western Laconia and eastern Messenia, in the southern Peloponnese, Gr ...

Cape Matapan
in southern Greece and sank near
Kythera Kythira (, ; el, Κύθηρα, , also transliterated as Cythera, Kythera and Kithira) is an Greek islands, island in Greece lying opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is traditionally listed as one of the seven main Ion ...
, but was salvaged at the Earl's personal expense; it took two years to bring them to the surface.


British Museum

The artefacts held in London suffered from 19th-century pollution which persisted until the mid-20th century and have suffered irreparable damage by previous cleaning methods employed by British Museum staff. As early as 1838, scientist
Michael Faraday Michael Faraday (; 22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) was an English scientist A scientist is a person who conducts scientific research The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge ...

Michael Faraday
was asked to provide a solution to the problem of the deteriorating surface of the marbles. The outcome is described in the following excerpt from the letter he sent to Henry Milman, a commissioner for the
National Gallery The National Gallery is an art museum An art museum is a building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum's own Collection (artwork), collection. It might be in public or private ownership and may be accessible to all or h ...

National Gallery
.
The marbles generally were very dirty ... from a deposit of dust and soot. ... I found the body of the marble beneath the surface white. ... The application of water, applied by a sponge or soft cloth, removed the coarsest dirt. ... The use of fine, gritty powder, with the water and rubbing, though it more quickly removed the upper dirt, left much embedded in the cellular surface of the marble. I then applied alkalies, both carbonated and caustic; these quickened the loosening of the surface dirt ... but they fell far short of restoring the marble surface to its proper hue and state of cleanliness. I finally used dilute nitric acid, and even this failed. ... The examination has made me despair of the possibility of presenting the marbles in the British Museum in that state of purity and whiteness which they originally possessed.
A further effort to clean the marbles ensued in 1858.
Richard Westmacott Sir Richard Westmacott (15 July 17751 September 1856) was a British sculptor. Life and career Westmacott studied with his father, also named Richard Westmacott, at his studio in Mount Street, off Grosvenor Square in London before going to ...
, who was appointed superintendent of the "moving and cleaning the sculptures" in 1857, in a letter approved by the British Museum Standing Committee on 13 March 1858 concluded
I think it my duty to say that some of the works are much damaged by ignorant or careless moulding – with oil and lard – and by restorations in wax and resin. These mistakes have caused discolouration. I shall endeavour to remedy this without, however, having recourse to any composition that can injure the surface of the marble.
Yet another effort to clean the marbles occurred in 1937–38. This time the incentive was provided by the construction of a new Gallery to house the collection. The Pentelic marble mined from
Mount Pentelicus Mount Pentelicus or Pentelikon (, or ) is a mountain in Attica (region), Attica, Greece, situated northeast of Athens and southwest of Marathon, Greece, Marathon. Its highest point is the peak ''Pyrgari'', with an elevation of 1,109 m. The mo ...
north of Athens, from which the sculptures are made, naturally acquires a tan colour similar to honey when exposed to air; this colouring is often known as the marble's "patina" but Lord Duveen, who financed the whole undertaking, acting under the misconception that the marbles were originally white Oddy, Andrew, "The Conservation of Marble Sculptures in the British Museum before 1975", in ''Studies in Conservation'', vol. 47, no. 3, (2002), p. 149 probably arranged for the team of masons working in the project to remove discolouration from some of the sculptures. The tools used were seven scrapers, one chisel and a piece of
carborundum Silicon carbide (SiC), also known as carborundum (), is a semiconductor A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental p ...

carborundum
stone. They are now deposited in the British Museum's Department of Preservation. The cleaning process scraped away some of the detailed tone of many carvings. According to
Harold Plenderleith Harold James Plenderleith Military Cross, MC FRSE FCS (19 September 1898 – 2 November 1997) was a 20th century Scotland, Scottish art Conservator (museum), conservator and Archaeology, archaeologist. He was a large and jovial character with a str ...
, the surface removed in some places may have been as much as one-tenth of an inch (2.5 mm). The British Museum has responded with the statement that "mistakes were made at that time."mistakes were made at that time
, ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer ''The Observer'' is a British newspaper published on Sun ...

The Guardian
''.
On another occasion it was said that "the damage had been exaggerated for political reasons" and that "the Greeks were guilty of excessive cleaning of the marbles before they were brought to Britain." During the international symposium on the cleaning of the marbles, organised by the British Museum in 1999, curator Ian Jenkins, deputy keeper of Greek and Roman antiquities, remarked that "The British Museum is not infallible, it is not the Pope. Its history has been a series of good intentions marred by the occasional cock-up, and the 1930s cleaning was such a cock-up". Nonetheless, he claimed that the prime cause for the damage inflicted upon the marbles was the 2000-year-long weathering on the Acropolis. American archeologist Dorothy King, in a newspaper article, wrote that techniques similar to the ones used in 1937–38 were applied by Greeks as well in more recent decades than the British, and maintained that Italians still find them acceptable. The British Museum said that a similar cleaning of the
Temple of Hephaestus The Temple of Hephaestus or ''Hephaisteion'' (also "Hephesteum"; grc, Ἡφαιστεῖον, ell, Ναός Ηφαίστου, and formerly called in error the Theseion or "Theseum"; grc, Θησεῖον, ell, Θησείο), is a well-preserve ...

Temple of Hephaestus
in the
Athenian Agora The ancient Agora of Athens (also called the Classical Agora) is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora upAgora of Tyre The agora (; grc, ἀγορά ''agorá'') was a central public space in ancient Greek city-states. It is ...

Athenian Agora
was carried out by the conservation team of the American School of Classical Studies at AthensJ. M. Cook and John Boardman, "Archaeology in Greece, 1953", The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 74, (1954), p. 147 in 1953 using steel chisels and brass wire. According to the Greek ministry of Culture, the cleaning was carefully limited to surface salt crusts. The 1953 American report concluded that the techniques applied were aimed at removing the black deposit formed by rain-water and "brought out the high technical quality of the carving" revealing at the same time "a few surviving particles of colour". Documents released by the British Museum under the
Freedom of Information Act Freedom of Information Act may refer to the following legislations in different jurisdictions which mandate the national government to disclose certain data to the general public upon request: * Freedom of Information Act 1982 The ''Freedom of Inf ...
revealed that a series of minor accidents, thefts and acts of
vandalism Vandalism is the action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property. The term includes property damage Property damage ( cf. criminal damage in England and Wales) is damage or destruction of real Real may r ...

vandalism
by visitors have inflicted further damage to the sculptures.Hastings, Chris
Revealed: how rowdy schoolboys knocked a leg off one of the Elgin Marbles
, ''The Daily Telegraph'', 15 May 2005. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
This includes an incident in 1961 when two schoolboys knocked off a part of a
centaur A centaur ( ; grc, κένταυρος, kéntauros; ), or occasionally hippocentaur, is a creature from Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture share ...

centaur
's leg. In June 1981, a west pediment figure was slightly chipped by a falling glass
skylight A skylight (sometimes called a rooflight) is a light-transmitting structure or window, usually made of transparent or translucent glass, that forms all or part of the roof A roof is the top covering of a building A building, or edifice, i ...
, and in 1966 four shallow lines were scratched on the back of one of the figures by vandals. In 1970 letters were scratched on to the upper right thigh of another figure. Four years later, the dowel hole in a centaur's hoof was damaged by thieves trying to extract pieces of lead.


Athens

Air pollution and
acid rain Acid rain is a rain Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Rain water flux from a canopy. Among the forces that govern drop formation: cohesion, Van der Waals force">Cohesion_(chemistry).html" ;"title="surface tension, ...
have damaged the marble and stonework. The last remaining slabs from the western section of the Parthenon frieze were removed from the monument in 1993 for fear of further damage. They have now been transported to the New
Acropolis Museum The Acropolis Museum ( el, Μουσείο Ακρόπολης, ''Mouseio Akropolis'') is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on t ...

Acropolis Museum
. Until cleaning of the remaining marbles was completed in 2005, black crusts and coatings were present on the marble surface. The
laser A laser is a device that emits light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as h ...

laser
technique applied on the 14 slabs that Elgin did not remove revealed a surprising array of original details, such as the original chisel marks and the veins on the horses' bellies. Similar features in the British Museum collection have been scraped and scrubbed with chisels to make the marbles look white. Between January 20 and the end of March 2008, 4200 items (sculptures, inscriptions small
terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance ...

terracotta
objects), including some 80 artefacts dismantled from the monuments in recent years, were removed from the old museum on the Acropolis to the new Parthenon Museum. Natural disasters have also affected the Parthenon. In 1981, an
earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known ...

earthquake
caused damage to the east façade. Since 1975, Greece has been restoring the Acropolis. This restoration has included replacing the thousands of rusting iron clamps and supports that had previously been used, with non-corrosive titanium rods;Smith, Helena
Repair of Acropolis started in 1975 - now it needs 20 more years and £47m
, ''The Guardian'', 10 June 2005. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
removing surviving artwork from the building into storage and subsequently into a new museum built specifically for the display of the Parthenon art; and replacing the artwork with high-quality replicas. This process has come under fire from some groups as some buildings have been completely dismantled, including the dismantling of the
Temple of Athena Nike 250px, Painting of the Temple of Athena Nike, by Werner Carl-Friedrich, from 1877 The Temple of Athena Nike (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic R ...

Temple of Athena Nike
and for the unsightly nature of the site due to the necessary cranes and
scaffolding Scaffolding, also called scaffold or staging, is a temporary structure used to support a work crew and materials to aid in the construction, maintenance and repair of buildings, bridges and all other man-made structures. Scaffolds are widely us ...

scaffolding
. But the hope is to restore the site to some of its former glory, which may take another 20 years and 70 million euros, though the prospect of the Acropolis being "able to withstand the most extreme weather conditions – earthquakes" is "little consolation to the tourists visiting the Acropolis" according to ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer ''The Observer'' is a British newspaper published on Sun ...

The Guardian
''. Under continuous international pressure, Directors of the British Museum have not ruled out agreeing to what they call a "temporary" loan to the new museum, but state that it would be under the condition of Greece acknowledging the British Museum's claims to ownership.


Relocation debate


Rationale for returning to Athens

Those arguing for the Marbles' return claim legal, moral and artistic grounds. Their arguments include: * The main stated aim of the Greek campaign is to reunite the Parthenon sculptures around the world in order to restore "organic elements" which "at present remain without cohesion, homogeneity and historicity of the monument to which they belong" and allow visitors to better appreciate them as a whole;Nicoletta Divari-Valakou, (Director of the Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Athens), "Revisiting the Parthenon: National Heritage in the Age of Globalism" in Mille Gabriel & Jens Dahl, (eds.) Utimut : past heritage – future partnerships, discussions on repatriation in the 21st Century, Copenhagen : International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs and Greenland National Museum & Archives, (2008) * Presenting all the extant Parthenon Marbles near their original historical and cultural environment would permit their "fuller understanding and interpretation"; * The marbles may have been obtained illegally and hence should be returned to their rightful owner; * Returning the Parthenon sculptures (Greece is requesting only the return of sculptures from this particular building) would not set a precedent for other restitution claims because of the distinctively "universal value" of the Parthenon; * Safekeeping of the marbles would be ensured at the New
Acropolis Museum The Acropolis Museum ( el, Μουσείο Ακρόπολης, ''Mouseio Akropolis'') is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on t ...

Acropolis Museum
, situated to the south of the Acropolis hill. It was built to hold the Parthenon sculpture in natural sunlight that characterises the Athenian climate, arranged in the same way as they would have been on the Parthenon. The museum's facilities have been equipped with state-of-the-art technology for the protection and preservation of exhibits; * The friezes are part of a single work of art, thus it was unintended that fragments of this piece be scattered across different locations; * Casts of the marbles would be just as able to demonstrate the cultural influences which Greek sculptures have had upon European art as would the original marbles, whereas the context with which the marbles belong cannot be replicated within the British Museum, however, the Greek plan is to still house them in a museum in Athens; * A 2014
yougov YouGov is a British international Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected s that uses the (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ' that consists of private, public, academic, ...

yougov
poll suggested that more British people (37%) supported the marbles' restoration to Greece than opposed it (23%) * British conservation claims at the time when Parthenon Marbles were sent to the
British Museum The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of Lond ...

British Museum
seem controversial, especially if compared to contemporary British expeditions carried out in other parts of the Greek world, that is Sicily. In 1823, British architects Samuel Angell and William Harris excavated at
Selinus Selinunte (; grc, Σελῑνοῦς, Selīnoûs ; la, Selīnūs , ; scn, Silinunti ) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kin ...
in the course of their tour of
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
, where they discovered the sculptured metopes from the Archaic temple of “Temple C.” Although local Sicilian officials tried to stop them, they continued their work, and attempted to export their finds to England, destined for the British Museum. In the echos of the activities of Lord Elgin in Athens, Angell and Harris's shipments were only diverted to Palermo by force of the Bourbon authorities and are now kept in the Palermo archeological museum. In a 2018 interview to the Athens newspaper ''
Ta Nea ''Ta Nea'' ( el, Τα Νέα, italic=yes; Translation: ''The News'') is a daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink ...
'', British
Labour party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
leader
Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Bernard Corbyn (; born 26 May 1949) is a British politician who served as Leader of the Labour PartyThe title Leader of the Labour Party may refer to: *Leader of the Labour Party (Ireland) *Leader of the Labour Party (Netherlands) *Lea ...

Jeremy Corbyn
did not rule out returning the Marbles to Greece, stating, "As with anything stolen or taken from occupied or colonial possession—including artefacts looted from other countries in the past—we should be engaged in constructive talks with the Greek government about returning the sculptures."


Rationale for remaining in London

A range of different arguments have been presented by scholars, British political leaders and British Museum spokespersons over the years in defence of retention of the Parthenon Marbles by the British Museum. The main points include: * The assertion that fulfilling all restitution claims would empty most of the world's great museums – this has also caused concerns among other European and American museums, with one potential target being the famous bust of Nefertiti in
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the List of cities in the European Union by ...

Berlin
's
Neues Museum The Neues Museum (English: ''New Museum'') is a listed building A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in ...

Neues Museum
; in addition, portions of Parthenon marbles are kept by many other European museums. *Advocates of the British Museum's position also point out that the Marbles in Britain receive about 6 million visitors per year as opposed to 1.5 million visitors to the Acropolis Museum. The removal of the Marbles to Greece would therefore, they argue, significantly reduce the number of people who have the opportunity to visit the Marbles. *Another argument for keeping the Parthenon Marbles within the UK has been made by J. H. Merryman, Sweitzer Professor of Law at
Stanford University Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Du ...

Stanford University
and co-operating professor in the Stanford Art Department. He has argued that "the Elgin Marbles have been in England since 1821 and in that time have become a part of the British cultural heritage." However he has also argued that if the Parthenon were actually being restored, there would be a moral argument for returning the Marbles to the temple whence they came, and thus restoring its integrity. The English Romantic poet John Keats, and the French sculptor Auguste Rodin, are notable examples of visitors to the Parthenon Marbles after their removal to England who subsequently produced famous work inspired by them. *It would be impossible to reunite the marbles as a complete set on the Parthenon due to corrosion from Athenian smog and because about half of them were destroyed in an explosion in 1687. The Greek plan is to transfer them to the
Acropolis Museum The Acropolis Museum ( el, Μουσείο Ακρόπολης, ''Mouseio Akropolis'') is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on t ...

Acropolis Museum
instead. * The assertion that Modern Greeks have "no claim to the stones because you could see from their physiognomy that they were not descended from the men who had carved them," a quote attributed to
Auberon Waugh Auberon Alexander Waugh (17 November 1939 – 16 January 2001) was an English journalist and novelist, and eldest son of the novelist Evelyn Waugh Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (; 28 October 1903 – 10 April 1966) was an English writer of ...
. In nineteenth century Western Europe, Greeks of the Classical period were widely imagined to have been light skinned and blond.Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization, and the Institution of Modern Greece, Stathis Gourgouris p.142-143 * The assertion that Greece could mount no court case, because Elgin claims to have been granted permission by what was then Greece's ruling government and a legal principle of limitation would apply, i.e., the ability to pursue claims expires after a period of time prescribed by law. *It would be illegal under current law to return the marbles. This was tested in the English High Court in May 2005 in relation to Nazi-looted Old Master artworks held at the British Museum, which the Museum's Trustees wished to return to the family of the original owner; the Court found that due to the British Museum Act 1963 these works could not be returned without further legislation. The judge, Mr Justice Morritt, found that the Act, which protects the collections for posterity, could not be overridden by a "moral obligation" to return works, even if they are believed to have been plundered. It has been argued, however, that the case was not directly relevant to the Parthenon Marbles, as it was about a transfer of ownership, and not the loan of artefacts for public exhibition overseas, which is provided for in the 1963 Act. The Trustees of the British Museum make the following statement on the Museum website in response to arguments for the relocation of the Parthenon Marbles to the Acropolis Museum: It was reported on 12 March 2021 that British Prime Minister
Boris Johnson Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (; born 19 June 1964) is a British politician and writer serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of govern ...

Boris Johnson
told a Greek newspaper ''Ta Nea'' that the British Museum was the legitimate owner of the marbles and that “They he marbleswere acquired legally by Lord Elgin, in line with the laws that were in force at that time.”


Public perception of the issue


Popular support for restitution

Outside Greece a campaign for the Return of the Marbles began in 1981 with the formation of th
International Organising Committee - Australia - for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles
and in 1983 with the formation of th
British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles
International organisations such as
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
and the
International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon SculpturesThe International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures is a campaign group, which joins together various organizations around the world whose primary aim is to bring about the reunification of all the surviving Parthenon Scu ...
, as well as campaign groups such as, Marbles Reunited, and stars of Hollywood, such as
George Clooney George Timothy Clooney (born May 6, 1961) is an American actor and filmmaker. He is the recipient of three Golden Globe Awards The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association b ...
and
Matt Damon Matthew Paige Damon (; born October 8, 1970) is an American actor, producer, and screenwriter. Ranked among ''Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family T ...
, as well as Human Rights activists, lawyers, and the people of the arts, voiced their strong support for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. American actor George Clooney voiced his support for the return by the United Kingdom and reunification of the Parthenon Marbles in Greece, during his promotional campaign for his 2014 film ''
The Monuments Men ''The Monuments Men'' is a 2014 war film directed by George Clooney, and written and produced by Clooney and Grant Heslov. The film stars an ensemble cast including Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh ...

The Monuments Men
'' which retells the story of
Allied An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
efforts to save important masterpieces of art and other culturally important items before their destruction by
Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Nazi Germany, Germany from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler's rise to power, He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming Cha ...
and the
Nazis Nazism (), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus; ), is the ideology and practices associated with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (german: link=no, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP, or National Socia ...

Nazis
during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. His remarks regarding the Marbles reignited the debate in the United Kingdom about their return to their home country. Public polls were also carried out by newspapers in response to Clooney's stance on this matter. TV presenter and producer
William G. Stewart William Gladstone Stewart (15 July 1933 – 21 September 2017) was an English television producer, director, and television presenter, best known as the presenter and producer of the Channel 4 Channel 4 is a British free-to-air public-service ...
was a high-profile supporter of the campaign and regularly referenced the Marbles on his quiz show '' Fifteen-to-One''. On an episode in 2001 Stewart gave a presentation stating the case for their return, fulfilling a promise to do so if too few contestants survived the first round to continue the game. An internet campaign site, in part sponsored by
Metaxa Metaxa ( el, Μεταξά) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popul ...
, aims to consolidate support for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to the New Acropolis Museum in Athens. Noted public intellectual
Christopher Hitchens Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was a British-American author, journalist, orator and columnist. He wrote, co-wrote, edited or co-edited over 30 books, including five of essays on culture, politics and literature. ...

Christopher Hitchens
had, at numerous times, argued for their repatriation. In BBC TV Series '''' (series 12, episode 7, XL edition), host
Stephen Fry Stephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957) is an English actor, broadcaster, comedian, director and writer. He first came to prominence in the 1980s as one half of the comic double act Fry and Laurie Fry and Laurie are an English comedy double ...

Stephen Fry
provided his support for the return of the Parthenon Marbles while recounting the story of the Greeks giving lead shot to their
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
enemies, as the Ottomans were running out of ammunition, in order to prevent damage to the Acropolis. Fry had previously written a blog post along much the same lines in December 2011 entitled "A Modest Proposal", signing off with "It's time we lost our marbles".


Opinion polls

A
YouGov YouGov is a British international Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected s that uses the (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ' that consists of private, public, academic, ...

YouGov
poll in 2014 suggested that more British people (37%) supported the marbles' restoration to Greece than opposed it (23%). In older polls,
Ipsos MORI Ipsos MORI is a market research Market research is an organized effort to gather information about target markets A target market is a group of customers within a business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by ...
asked in 1998, "If there were a referendum on whether or not the Elgin Marbles should be returned to Greece, how would you vote?" This returned these values from the British general adult population: *40% in favour of returning the marbles to Greece *15% in favour of keeping them at the British Museum *18% would not vote *27% had no opinion Another opinion poll in 2002 (again carried out by MORI) showed similar results, with 40% of the British public in favour of returning the marbles to Greece, 16% in favour of keeping them within Britain and the remainder either having no opinion or would not vote. When asked how they would vote if a number of conditions were met (including, but not limited to, a long-term loan whereby the British maintained ownership and joint control over maintenance) the number responding in favour of return increased to 56% and those in favour of keeping them dropped to 7%. Both MORI poll results have been characterised by proponents of the return of the Marbles to Greece as representing a groundswell of public opinion supporting return, since the proportion explicitly supporting return to Greece significantly exceeds the number who are explicitly in favour of keeping the Marbles at the British Museum.


A psychological view

One commentator on the controversies raised by former objects of worship held in museums draws a parallel between public responses to such works as the Elgin Marbles, the
Benin Bronzes The Benin Bronzes are a group of more than a thousand metal plaques and sculptures that decorated the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin The Kingdom of Benin, (also known as the Edo Kingdom, or the Benin Empire) was a kingdom in West Africa ...

Benin Bronzes
and (outside London) the
Sultanganj Buddha The Sultanganj Buddha is a Gupta Gupta () is a common surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The ...

Sultanganj Buddha
. From the sociological view, there is something about these special examples that seems to draw to themselves strong emotional responses either of devotion or of rejection, the latter sometimes taking the form of wishing to be rid of their presence by sending them back to where they came from. Though encountered now in a radically different environment, such artefacts "and the capacity of humans to recognize heir charismaand be drawn to it, is clearly not a phenomenon limited to cultural and religious contexts in which such behaviour is officially endorsed". The controversy they elicit arises as a psychological response, an "iconoclash", transcending questions of right or wrong.


Other displaced Parthenon art

The remainder of the surviving sculptures that are not in museums or storerooms in Athens are held in museums in various locations across Europe. The British Museum also holds additional fragments from the Parthenon sculptures acquired from various collections that have no connection with Lord Elgin. The collection held in the British Museum includes the following material from the Acropolis: *Parthenon: of the original
frieze In architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. A ...

frieze
**15 of the 92 metopes **17 pedimental figures, including a figure of a river-god, possibly the river Ilisus; **various pieces of architecture *Erechtheion: a
Caryatid A caryatid ( ; grc, Καρυάτις, pl. ) is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a structural element that transmits, th ...

Caryatid
, a column and other architectural members *Propylaia: Architectural members *Temple of Athena Nike: 4 slabs of the frieze and architectural members


British Museum loan

The British Museum lent the figure of a river-god, possibly the river Ilisus, to the
State Hermitage Museum The State Hermitage Museum ( rus, Госуда́рственный Эрмита́ж, r=Gosudárstvennyj Ermitáž, p=ɡəsʊˈdarstvʲɪnɨj ɪrmʲɪˈtaʂ, links=no) is a museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is an inst ...

State Hermitage Museum
in
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), ...

Saint Petersburg
to celebrate its 250th anniversary. It was on display there from Saturday 6 December 2014 until Sunday 18 January 2015. This was the first time the British Museum had lent part of its Parthenon Marbles collection and it caused some controversy.


2021

In March 2021 the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson issued a point-blank rejection of the Parthenon marbles being returned to Greece. Stating "The UK government has a firm longstanding position on the sculptures, which is that they were legally acquired by Lord Elgin under the appropriate laws of the time and have been legally owned by the British Museum’s trustees since their acquisition.” For the first time, UNESCO, on 30 September 2021, issued a decision calling for the United Kingdom to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, beyond the positive recommendations that it has issued for years. Specifically, Decision 22 COM 17 of UNESCO's Inter-Governmental Committee, asks the British government to urgently review its policy against repartriation of the marbles.


See also

*'' Imperial Spoils: The Curious Case of the Elgin Marbles'' * Greece–United Kingdom relations * Palermo Fragment


References


Bibliography

"A
Downing Street Downing Street is a long street in the City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough in Inner London which forms a core part of Central London. It is the site of the ...

Downing Street
spokeswoman" (2020), reportage of employee of Sky, Comcast NBCUniversal (2020)
Row over Elgin Marbles as EU demands return of 'unlawfully removed cultural objects'
published by
Sky News Sky News is a British free-to-air television news channel and organisation. Sky News is distributed via a radio news service, and through online channels. It is owned by Sky Group, a division of Comcast. John Ryley is the head of Sky News, a ...
19 February 2020 - accessed 2020-02-19


Further reading

* * * * (with essays by Robert Browning and Graham Binns) * * * * *


External links

*
Acropolis MuseumThe Parthenon FriezeThe British Museum Parthenon pagesGreek pupils demand return of Elgin Marbles
BBC


Pros and cons of restitution


The Restitution of the Parthenon MarblesAcropolis of Athens – One monument, one heritageBritish Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles' siteMarbles Reunited: Friends of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon MarblesThe International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon SculpturesThe International Organising Committee, Australia – For The Restitution Of The Parthenon MarblesElginism – Collection of news articles relating to the Elgin MarblesA guide to the case for the restitution of the Parthenon MarblesEight Reasons: Why the Parthenon Sculptures must be returned to Greece
the cultural context of the early 19th century debate over the marbles, the politics & the aesthetics, imperialism and hellenism

* ttps://web.archive.org/web/20061011232836/http://marbles.apokrisi.net/ Marbles with an Attitude – a different approach to the cause of reuniting the Parthenon Marblesbr>An argument for keeping the marbles at the British Museum
* ttp://www.parthenonfrieze.gr/#/home Virtual Representation of The Parthenon Frieze {{coord, 51.5192, -0.1283, display=title
Acropolis of Athens {{GeoGroup Wikipedia categories named after fortifications Acropoleis in Greece Ancient Greek buildings and structures in Athens Wikipedia categories named after buildings and structures in Greece ...
Art and cultural repatriation Greece–United Kingdom relations Ancient Greek and Roman sculptures in the British Museum History of museums History of Athens Marble sculptures in the United Kingdom Sculptures by Phidias Archaeological discoveries in Greece 19th century in Athens Horses in art Architectural sculpture