January 25, 2003

Comic book about the Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 1:12 pm in Elgin Marbles

A new comic book aims to re-tell the story of the Parthenon Marbles in graphic format.

The Times

January 25, 2003
Lord Elgin pilloried in comic frieze
By Dalya Alberge

A BRITISH-IRANIAN businessman has seen the funny side of the Elgin Marbles dispute, publishing an Asterix-style comic strip about the Briton who helped himself to the Parthenon sculptures.

Amir Sobati, 32, who moved to Athens two years ago to set up an internet company for the hotel industry, has written and published The Parthenon Marbles & Lord Elgin, the Earl’s life story from cradle to grave with 400 pictures.

It depicts Elgin as a selfish little boy, grabbing a little girl’s toy: “Give it to me,” he says. “It’s mine,” she retorts. “Yes, but I want it,” he insists.

There is Elgin paying bribes for the sculptures and rubbing his hands as they are hurriedly removed with saws and hammers to be transported to London: “My mansion will be the envy of all,” he says to himself.

Then he moans that there is no vessel big enough to transport the whole of it. He points to one figure: “So for now cut away this one.” As he speeds away in his carriage, he tells his men to ship “the goods” as soon as possible.

The book ends with Elgin’s other triumphs: The Liberty statue in New York without its head, the Eiffel Tower in Paris without its tower, and Big Ben without the clock. The caption reads: “How would you like it?” Mr Sobati, who recalled a class on the Marbles as a boy at Highgate School in North London, said that he was inspired to write the comic because his office overlooks the Parthenon.

“If the British public knew the facts, they would be supportive of the Marbles’ return to Athens,” he said.

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