November 8, 2012
House of Commons Early Day Motion to highlight recent developments relating to Parthenon Marbles return
Andrew George MP, the chair of the Marbles Reunited campaign, has tabled a new Early Day Motion, highlighting many of the recent developments that relate to the return of the Parthenon Marbles. EDMs are a way in which members of parliament can both gauge the level of support for proposals.
Date tabled: 18.09.2012
Primary sponsor: George, Andrew
Sponsors:Caton, Martin; Corbyn, Jeremy; Galloway, George; Hancock, Mike; Sanders, Adrian
That this House is aware that half of the Parthenon sculptures, controversially removed from Athens by Lord Elgin 210 years ago using a flimsy legal justification during the Ottoman occupation of Greece, remain on display in the British Museum; notes that, when presented with the facts, the British public favours the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles in Athens; and that at the Intelligence Squared debate on 11 June 2012, the audience voted 384 to 125 in favour of return, having marginally voted in favour of their retention before the debate commenced; further notes the opinion poll being conducted by the Journal of the Museums Association which showed 73 per cent in favour of reunification and 27 per cent against; is aware that the British Museum has abandoned most of its conventional arguments and now advances the novel concept of a universal museum; believes that in view of the uniqueness of the case for the reunification of these sculptures, it would consequently not constitute a precedent for other restitution cases; and calls on the Government to take heed of the consistent indications of domestic public and professional opinion and the growing worldwide interest by initiating a review of the cultural, ethical and political justifications for refusing to reunite these British-held Parthenon sculptures with those now displayed in the purpose-built Acropolis Museum in the shadow of the monument to which they belong, the Parthenon in Athens.
As of today, the following MPs have signed it.
- Anderson, David
- Caton, Martin
- Corbyn, Jeremy
- Dobbin, Jim
- Flynn, Paul
- Galloway, George
- George, Andrew
- Glindon, Mary
- Hancock, Mike
- Hopkins, Kelvin
- Leech, John
- Rogerson, Dan
- Sanders, Adrian
- Williams, Hywel
- Williams, Mark
MP Grahame M Morris, has also tabled an amendment to it, adding at the end “and on the same basis, calls for the return of Saint Cuthbert’s Psalter from the British Library to its rightful home in Durham Cathedral.“. This is a positive step, as often, the amendments to EDMs take the form of adding a couple of words, that turn the meaning to the exact opposite of what was intended & in effect creating a motion that is opposed to the original one.
- Early Day Motion on the Parthenon Marbles : July 25, 2005
- Elgin Marbles Early Day Motion : February 5, 2006
- New Acropolis Museum Early Day Motion : March 1, 2009
- Early Day Motion on UNESCO Mediation for Parthenon Sculptures : April 11, 2014
- Vote for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures : June 24, 2009
- EDM from Andrew George : March 15, 2007
- International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures EDM : May 12, 2006
- The Early Day Motion that wasn’t : April 1, 2009