Notwithstanding my earlier comments on certain campaigns linking the return of the Elgin Marbles to the Olympics , I think it would be great if the British government / British Museum would make some sort of commitment prior to the Olympics to return the Parthenon Sculptures. The petition organised by the HALC is requezsting just such a thing.
Make sure you go to their website to sign the petition , after you have read the article.
Return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece before the London 2012 Olympics
Over 200 years ago, the Ottomans granted British ambassador Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, a controversial permit to pillage the Parthenon. By the time the Earl of Elgin was done, half of the Parthenon’s sculptures and other pieces of Greece’s cultural history were shipped off to Britain.
The time has come for this injustice to be remedied and for the Parthenon Marbles to be sent home to Greece.
A new state-of-the-art museum is open at the foot of the Acropolis and is ready to house this critical part of Greece’s cultural history.
As British actor and repatriation activist Stephen Fry has noted, there is no better way for London to show solidarity with Greece during Greece’s time of crisis than to return the artifacts back to the Greek people:
The occasion — the largest regular gathering human beings on the face of the planet — offers [the opportunity] to redress a great wrong and to express our solidarity with, affection for and belief in Greece and the ideals it gave us.
The Hellenic Republic today is in heart-rending turmoil, a humiliating sovereign debt crisis has brought Greece to the brink of absolute ruin. This proud, beautiful nation for which Byron laid down his life is in a condition much like the one for which he mourned when they were under the Ottoman yoke in the early nineteenth century […]
Greece made us. We owe them. They are ready for its return and have never needed such morale boosting achievement more. And it would be so graceful, so apt, so right. […] What greater gesture could be made to Greece in its appalling finance distress? An act of friendship, atonement and an expression of faith in the future of the cradle of democracy would be so, well just so damned classy. […]
It would be a dignified, but a thrilling celebration. No need for head-hanging apology or anything silly, just a recognition that the time is now right.