June 22, 2009

New initiatives for the return of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 1:38 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum has put the issue of the Parthenon Marbles in the international spotlight. There are now moves underway to build on this position & push forward on the wave of public opinion to implement new moves to deal with the situation. This was always the plan of the Greek Ministry of Culture – that the museum should be appreciated for what it was, without the press coverage dwelling on the Marbles issue, paving the way for the next chapter of the campaign once the dust had started to settle.

Athens News Agency

Karamanlis to brief President Papoulias

Prime Μinister Costas Karamanlis will pay a call on President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias shortly after noon on Monday. Karamanlis will brief the President on the outcome of the European Union summit late last week in Brussels, which mainly focused on the problem of illegal migration, and on the decisions taken.Earlier, Karamanlis will meet with visiting Vietnamese deputy prime minister and foreign minister Phan Gia Khiem. Οn Saturday, at his speech during the inauguration of the New Acropolis museum stressed “The Acropolis Museum is a reality for all Greeks; for all the people of the world. It is a modern monument, open, luminous and is harmoniously intertwined with Parthenon itself. It permits the Attica sun to shed its light on the ancient works of culture and allows the visitor to enjoy and appreciate the details of the exhibits. This modern monument narrates the history of democracy, art, rituals and everyday life. It succeeds in harmonically linking antiquity with the modern world of the technology and imagery. That’s why pioneering,” Karamanlis told the audience of dignitaries, which included lead architects Bernard Tschumi and Michael Photiadis.

China Central Television

Greece: Britain should return marbles
2009-06-22 10:29 BJT

Greece has opened its highly anticipated new Acropolis museum. At the opening ceremony, the ancient country had a single message: bring back the marbles from Britain.

Columns, sculptures, and marbles are all characteristics of the Acropolis.

They attract thousands of visitors everyday, though some of them are missing.

Now, Greece is trying hard to have its message heard: the Parthenon Marbles must return to Greece.

Antonis Samaras, Greek Culture Minister, said, “The Parthenon and its marbles were victims of looting. This crime can be corrected today. The museum is the ethical power that calls them back, so they can be re-united. The marbles here are calling for the marbles in London.”

In a symbolic move, Samaras placed an original fragment of a marble artifact next to the remaining plaster copy of the same piece. The original artifact is currently in the British Museum.

The Parthenon Marbles, also known as the Elgin Marbles, were removed from the Acropolis 200 years ago by British forces. They were later purchased by the British government and given to the British Museum.

Greece has been asking Britain to bring them back since the 1980s. But the British Museum has refused to return the pieces, saying Greece did not have a proper place to store the marbles.

Greece now claims this new museum diminishes the argument.

The new Acropolis Museum is a modern building of 25-hundred square meters with glass walls and floors.

It was built at a cost of 170 million US dollars. Visitors can enjoy the ancient masterpieces while looking at the actual Acropolis through the museum’s glass walls.

New York Times

Arts, Briefly
Greece Presses Its Case
Published: June 21, 2009

The president of Greece, Karolos Papoulias, threw some muscle into his country’s tug of war with Britain over the Elgin Marbles, decorative sections of the Parthenon that were removed in the early 19th century and now reside in the British Museum. Speaking on Saturday at the lavish opening of the New Acropolis Museum, a $200 million center built in part to prove to the world that Greece has the capability to care for its antiquities, Mr. Papoulias (above at the opening) said, “It’s time to heal the wounds of the monument with the return of the marbles which belong to it.”

Athens News Agency

Gov’t: Bring Marbles back

The Greek government on Monday pointed directly to regurgitated excuses and a continued negative stance by British Museum officials regarding the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, with a government spokesman stressing that “all excuses used by those who invented different pretenses to keep integral parts of this unique monument outside Greece have failed.”

“They should return them,” spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said, referring to the Marbles during the first week of operation for the New Acropolis Museum at the foot of the Acropolis.

“They (Marbles) should be brought back to Greece to the place they belong. It is unacceptable for a monument to be broken into pieces. I am certain that those who will visit the Museum will not have the slightest doubt that this has to be done and I am certain that in the end it (return of the Marbles) will.”

He also spoke of “desperate efforts by those who have done wrong, to defend their positions.”

Antonaros also expressed certainty that the Museum itself will play a decisive role in demolishing “obsolete positions, ones that will be impossible to defend anymore.”

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