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Lecture on the Elgin Marbles in Montana

Michael Hoff is giving a lecture on the Elgin Marbles at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana on Thursday 12th April.

Bozeman Daily Chronicle [1]

Art historian speaks on archaeology controversy
Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 10:40 am, Thu Apr 5, 2012.

Michael Hoff presents “Lord Elgin and the Parthenon Marbles: Two Hundred Years of Controversy,” Thursday, April 12, at 6 p.m. at the Museum of the Rockies Hager Auditorium. Hosted by the Archaeological Institute of America, Bozeman chapter, this lecture is free and open to the public.

Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin, who had been appointed the English ambassador to the Ottoman court, was responsible for the removal of many of the sculpted statues and reliefs from the Parthenon. His purpose was to enlighten European culture by bringing to London examples of the best sculpture from Athens, and spurred on by the knowledge that Napoleon’s agents were also actively seeking to acquire the marbles. Elgin’s zeal, along with well-placed bribes, allowed his own agents to proceed beyond the original limits of his permit granted by the Turkish authorities.

Regardless of his motivations, Elgin’s despoiling of the Parthenon has stirred up a modern-day controversy concerning the legalities of his actions. This lecture explores the personal life and troubled career of Lord Elgin, the activities in Athens, the prominent role his wife, Lady Nesbit, played in the affair, and the controversy spurred by his actions over the legal ownership of the marbles.

Hoff has been teaching art history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln since 1989. He specializes in Greek and Roman archaeology in which he has focused his research on the history of Roman Athens and more recently on archaeology of Asia Minor.