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Is London a safer location for the Parthenon Marbles?

Matthew Parris in The Times has (although I am still hoping the remarks were made tongue in cheek) sadly descended to the level of many other commentators in the past, who claim that London is a far safer location for the display of the Parthenon Marbles. Notwithstanding any other issues associated with this argument, the fact remains that even the supposedly safe places can become unsafe – meaning that there is no form of guarantee that London is any safer than Athens for the display of artefacts. This fact is evidence by such things as the huge number of artworks destroyed in the collapse of New York’s World Trade Center [1] in 2001.

If the argument is taken to its logical conclusion, then surely all artefacts should be located in secure underground vaults – perhaps only viewable by video cameras. If this was the case though, it should be determined by some sort of international body, by the voluntary consent of the parties concerned, not post-rationalised bay a single party without any sort of real consent from the original owners.

From:
The Times [2]

May 20, 2010
Never mind the oil slick, just watch our carpet
BP should take a wider view when it comes to health and safety
Matthew Parris

[…]

Losing their Marbles

Speaking of mayhem, I see a silver lining to the cloud of rioting and destruction in Athens. I’ve always felt that there was merit in the argument that, as the Elgin Marbles were part of the Parthenon, they should be reunited with it, but I’m equally impressed with the argument that they were brought to Britain for safekeeping, and are ours now. It is at last clear how these two may be reconciled. Bring the Parthenon to London, too, for safekeeping.

[…]