Sunday, 21 June 2009

Acropolis Museum and Elgin Marbles

Acropolis Museum and Elgin Marbles
This week in Athens, after 40 years in the planning and costing 130m euros, Athens' new Acropolis Museum finally opened and the Greek culture minister says he hopes it will be a catalyst for the UK to hand the Parthenon sculptures back.

Source: video news source - UK Chanell 4, here
Note: the Channel 4 report says there were no British Museum representatives at the opening. BBC World Service reports the BM was represented.

Elgin Marbles.
The story of the Elgin Marbles, and how the came to the British Museum, and the resulting claim and counter claim to their ongoing custodianship has many strands. Some sources to unravel them, include:

"The Elgin Marbles, also known as the Parthenon Marbles/Sculptures, are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions and architectural members that originally belonged to the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens.[1][2][3][4] Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1799–1803, had obtained a controversial permission from the Ottoman authorities to remove pieces from the Acropolis. ..."

British Museum
The British Museum has prepared their own [undated] position statement on the Partheaon Marbles, here

Room 18
They also have a video and an online tour, here


wiselark said...

The British Museum's position seems to be based entirely on a 19thC Imperial world view - 'this is the world's culture so we are best to keep them from those untrustworthy Greeks.' I love how their offer of an alternative view from the Hellenic Ministry is merely to their Greek language homepage.

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