April 24, 2012
More coverage of the new campaign / video about the return of the Elgin Marbles, by Ares Kalogeropoulos.
The original article has many images in it, which you need to see to fully appreciate what it is describing. You can view them in the original article here.
Cyprus News Report
New Campaign For The Return Of The Parthenon Marbles To Athens
Tue, 06/03/2012 – 13:22 — Savvas Hadjigeorgiou
Conductor and photographer Ares Kalogeropoulos who lives and works in Oldenburg, Germany has launched a campaign aiming at bringing back to the spotlight the long-awaited return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece.
“Let’s do something that history will look at us with her most affectionate look.” said Kalogeropoulos about the campaign.
The imaginative campaign is entitled “You can steal a statue but you cannot steal my origin”, is widely circulating on the Internet and it’s getting positive reviews for its part in preserving the Greek cultural heritage.
The marbles were literally ripped from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin from 1801 to 1812 with permission (through a controversial “firman”) from the Ottoman Turks, then-occupiers of Greece.
The British Government and the British Museum refuse repeated pleads from Greeks and Brittish citizens to return them, using as one of their arquments the permit obtained by Elgin by the Turks, as if they were the legal owners of Greece through their colonial occupation.
The Parthenon Marbles, forming a part of the collection known as the Elgin Marbles are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures (mostly by Phidias and his pupils), inscriptions and architectural members that originally were part of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1799–1803, obtained a controversial permit from the Ottoman authorities to remove pieces from the Acropolis.
Elgin’s agents removed about half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as architectural members and sculpture from the Propylaea and Erechtheum.
The Marbles were transported by sea to Britain. In Britain, the acquisition of the collection was supported by some, while other critics compared Elgin’s actions to vandalism or looting.
Following a public debate in Parliament and subsequent exoneration of Elgin’s actions, the marbles were purchased by the British government in 1816 and placed on display in the British Museum, where they stand now on view in the purpose-built Duveen Gallery.
The debate continues as to whether the Marbles should remain in the British Museum or be returned to Athens.
The poet Lord Byron strongly objected to their removal from Greece, denouncing Elgin as a vandal. His point of view about the removal of the Marbles from Athens is also reflected in his poem “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”:
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 that “The Honourable Lord has taken advantage of the most unjustifiable means and has committed the most flagrant pillages. It was, it seems, fatal that a representative of our country loots those objects that the Turks and other barbarians had considered sacred,”
- New video about Parthenon Marbles – I Am Greek and I Want to Go Home : August 14, 2012
- Photographer & Composer Ares Kalogeropoulos launches video about the Elgin Marbles : April 24, 2012
- If Lord Elgin had visited another country rather than Greece, what would they look like now : August 16, 2012
- Philhelenism day : April 5, 2009
- Honouring one of the first to speak out against the destructive actions of Lord Elgin : October 18, 2008
- Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day : April 20, 2009
- How legal was Elgin’s Firman : August 29, 2008
- The Elgin Marbles & Vyronas : April 16, 2006