June 4, 2005

Peter Hitchens supports the return of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 11:47 am in Elgin Marbles

In 1997, Christopher Hitchens wrote “The Elgin Marbles: Should They Be Returned to Greece? “, a very well reasoned & persuasive account of why he felt that the Parthenon Marbles should be returned.
Christopher Hitchens has a less internationally known brother Peter Hitchens who agrees on very little with his brother. Reading their articles, it has always appeared that there is little common ground between the two of them.
At the Hay on Wye Literary festival last week though, during a joint interview session it transpired that one of the few subjects on which they do both agree is that the British have little right to keep the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum.

The Guardian

Ian Katz (Guardian features editor): I want to ask you about a quote that has cropped up in the pages of various magazines in the conversations that you two have had around the world. [To Peter] you said to the Guardian, ‘being Peter Hitchens is about not being Christopher Hitchens, which is true to some extent, as Canada is about not being the United States. But it doesn’t mean I spend my whole time thinking: Christopher thinks this, how can I differentiate myself from him?’ Does that mean you spend some of your time thinking about it?

Peter Hitchens: How could you not?… If you have a brother who has strong opinions it seems to me there would be something wrong with you if you didn’t notice them and think about them, and if they differ with yours it means you’ve either got to take account of what he says (for instance, I’ve never been able to come up with a good argument against his belief that the Elgin marbles should be returned to Athens), or… I do recommend it to anybody to have a brother you disagree with, to keep you thinking and keep you considering your own positions, and it would be ludicrous to say I didn’t do that.

IK: For the record, aside from the Elgin Marbles, is there anything else you agree on?

PH: I’m sure there are. But I came up with that because it’s one where I’ve thought and thought and thought about it, and I can’t think of a good argument against it [returning the Elgin marbles to Greece].

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1 Comment »

  1. Cultural vandalism | Jonathan Knott said,

    01.03.11 at 6:17 pm

    […] The Parthenon has suffered two wantonly destructive acts.  First, when the Turkish used as a gunpowder store and it was mortared by Venetian forces in 1687.  And secondly, when Lord Elgin levered off the ‘Elgin marbles’ to take home to Britain in the nineteenth century.  (The return of the Parthenon sculptures is apparently one of the few things the Hitchens brothers can agree on). […]

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