Quote of the Day

There is nothing to equal it in the architecture of the entire world and all the ages; the plastic modulation of the Parthenon is flawless, ruthless. Its austerity goes beyond what we are accustomed to, and the normal potential of man.

Le Corbusier, architect; Vers une Architecture

June 25, 2004

The real story of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 11:00 am in Elgin Marbles

A new BBC documentary on Saturday 26th June will take a fresh look at both sides of the case for the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece.

From:
BBC News

Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 17:54 GMT 18:54 UK
The real story of the Elgin Marbles
By James Bregman
BBC News Online entertainment staff

The age-old controversy surrounding the Elgin Marbles is likely to re-emerge this year when the Olympics taking place in Athens.

The marbles – depicting gods, men and monsters – were removed from Athens’ Parthenon in 1811 by Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire that controlled Greece at the time.
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June 23, 2004

Acropolis restoration will miss the Olympic deadline

Posted at 11:27 am in Acropolis, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Many people will disappointed that the ongoing restoration works to the Athenian Acropolis will miss the completion deadline of the forthcoming Olympics. However, it is far better that the restoration works are carried out correctly & not rushed, rather than artefacts being possibly damaged in the race to give the impression that the works are completed by a specific date (a date that was never known about when the restoration works began).

From:
Reuters

Athens treasures will miss Games deadline
Tue 22 June, 2004 05:02
By Daniel Howden

ATHENS (Reuters) – Visitors to August’s Athens Olympics wanting to see classical treasures such as the temple of Athena Nike or the northern colonnade of the Parthenon will have to make do with buying picture postcards instead.

Construction workers stalk the dusty halls of some of the city’s finest museums while priceless sections of the Acropolis have been dismantled and taken to the cleaners.
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Greece & Britain spar over Marbles

Posted at 11:19 am in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Prompted by the forthcoming Athens Olympics in August, Voice of America has an article on the reasons for & against the return of the Elgin Marbles along with a look at some other similar cases.

From:
Voice Of America

Olympic Controversy: Britain and Greece Spar Over Marbles
Megan Parlen
London
22 Jun 2004, 15:25 UTC

As the summer Olympics in Athens approach, the ongoing campaign by the Greek government for the return of some ancient sculptures held by the British Museum is back in the spotlight. The disagreement over the sculptures is one of many such disputes around the world.

Visitors to the British Museum discuss the controversy, just outside the hall where the sculptures are displayed.
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New book looks at the meaning of the Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 11:11 am in Acropolis

Robert Bowie Johnson Junior has published a new book about his own interpretation of the meanings behind the Parthenon Sculptures. It is worth noting here, before you read the book, that his views are not generally accepted by most of the archaeologists / classicists. If it is like his other previous books it is an interesting read in parts, but you ought to also read some other books on the meanings of the sculptures to give you a more balanced opinion of the range of possible interpretations.

From:
PR Newswire

New Book Deciphers Meaning of Parthenon Sculptures
Purpose of Athena’s Temple in Athens Understood for First Time in More Than 2,000 Years — Noah Depicted in Ancient Greek Art

ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 23 /PRNewswire/ — Visitors to the Parthenon in Athens and to the British Museum in London, where most of the Parthenon sculptures are displayed, can now do more than “ooh” and “aah” at what they see: they can actually understand what the Greeks were telling us about themselves and their history. The newly-released book from Solving Light Books, “The Parthenon Code: Mankind’s History in Marble,” by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr. deciphers the meaning of the sculptures of Athena’s temple, relating their messages to the early events described in Genesis. Read the rest of this entry »

June 20, 2004

Parthenon Marbes must be returned

Posted at 11:50 am in Elgin Marbles

A follow up by the Macedonia Press Agency to Neal Ascherson’s article in the Observer.

From:
Macedonian Press Agency

MONDAY, 21 JUNE 2004
THE EXILE OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES MUST END
Thessaloniki, 21 June 2004 (14:17 UTC+2)

The exile of the Parthenon Marbles must end writes famous Scotch journalist and author Neal Ascherson in an article on the British newspaper “The Observer”.

He underlines that Britain has no arguments to confront Greece’s demand for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.
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Dorothy King speaks about against the return of the Marbles

Posted at 11:42 am in Elgin Marbles

Billed as the Female Indiana Jones by her publicists, archaeologist Dorothy King has made a name for herself as a vocal opponent of the campaign to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece. Fortunately there are many prominent figures in the academic world who disagree strongly with her opinions & theories on the subject. Dorothy King’s comments on the sculptures appear in a BBC documentary on the Marbles next weekend.

From:
The Guardian

Marbles expert: Greeks are like abusive parents
Vanessa Thorpe, arts and media correspondent
Sunday June 20, 2004
The Observer

It is Europe’s longest-running cultural heritage dispute, yet the row over the rightful home of the Elgin Marbles is still so hotly contested it will almost qualify as an Olympic sport in Athens this summer.

Undiplomatic comments made by a British archaeologist in a new BBC documentary on the subject will now take the temperature of debate still higher. Dr Dorothy King, a supporter of the British Museum’s position on the ownership of the marbles, has offended members of the Greek community in the UK by comparing the would-be custodians of the Parthenon frieze to abusive parents.
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End of exile for the marbles?

Posted at 11:36 am in Elgin Marbles

Neal Ascherson has written a lengthy article in the Observer about the reasons why he believes the Elgin Marbles should be returned. This article is prompted by a new BBC film on the subject to be shown later this week.

From:
The Observer

End the exile
For 300 years we have had the Elgin Marbles, but the case for their return is now unanswerable
Neal Ascherson
Sunday June 20, 2004
The Observer

In August, the Olympic Games begin in Athens. The world will converge on the city crowned by the Parthenon. But the Greeks, hoping against hope, have invited a very special group of guests who will not be coming. The sacred figures of the Elgin Marbles, sawn off the temple by a Scottish nobleman almost 200 years ago, will be staying in the British Museum.

This week, a fair-minded BBC film will examine Lord Elgin and what he did. It will also set out the arguments, some respectable, some disgraceful, which have kept the marbles here in the teeth of generations of Greek – and British – protest. At the Games, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell will meet her opposite number, Costas Karamanlis, who is both minister of culture and the new Prime Minister. It is obvious what he will say to her. It is far from obvious that they will agree.
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June 15, 2004

Longer opening hours for Greek museums during Olympics

Posted at 11:48 am in Acropolis, Greece Archaeology

A complaint of many visitors to Greece is the awkward opening hours of many of the museums & archaeological sites. During the Olympics, extended opening hours will ensure that these sites will have more visitors than ever before. Many institutions are also stopping charging admission fees for the duration of the games.

From:
Kathimerini English Edition

Tuesday June 15, 2004
Museums, art galleries go on Olympic time
Schedules to accommodate the Games
Museums, archaeological sites, galleries and other cultural institutions are modifying opening times during the upcoming Olympic Games. The Benaki Museum (above) will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
By Dimitris Rigopoulos – Kathimerini

It is a well-known fact that August’s Olympic Games will impose an entirely different atmosphere on Athens, which will affect all activities. Under the circumstances, the city’s cultural life cannot be considered exempt.
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May 29, 2004

Acropolis lift will be ready for the Olympics

Posted at 12:13 pm in Acropolis

As part of the works to make Athens more accessible to disabled visitors, a passenger lift to the top of the Acropolis is due to be built.

From:
Kathimerini English Edition

Saturday May 29, 2004
Acropolis lift in four months?

Despite the strong misgivings voiced by archaeologists, Greek officials have assured the head of the International Paralympic Committee that a complicated structure allowing disabled people access to the Acropolis will be in place when those Games start, a report said yesterday.

“[The Acropolis] is not accessible yet, but I have got assurances,” IPC President Phil Craven told The Associated Press. “I was told it was 99 percent certain.”
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May 23, 2004

New strategy to reunite Elgin Marbles

Posted at 5:02 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

This article looks at the reasons why the Marbles Reunited campaign feels that the Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Athens.

From:
Toronto Star

May 23, 2004. 01:00 AM
New strategy to `reunite’ Elgin marbles
Greece requests a loan for Olympics British Museum thinks it’s a ruse
SANDRO CONTENTA

ATHENS—The scaffolding and cranes around the Parthenon these days give the ancient monument what the Greeks of the time would have surely described as a tragic allure.

Built in honour of the goddess Athene, protector of Athens, the temple was considered one of the finest of the ancient world.

But time has its way with even the grandest of efforts, and no amount of work can restore a beauty that today is more suggested than real.
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May 21, 2004

Greek students campaign for Elgin Marbles to be returned

Posted at 5:02 pm in Elgin Marbles

Ninety five thousand Greek elementary school children have written letters to the British government asking for the Parthenon Marbles to be returned to Greece.

From:
Macedonian Press Agency

FRIDAY, 21 MAY 2004
GREEK STUDENTS CALL FOR THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES
Thessaloniki, 20 May 2004 (16:02 UTC+2)

Hundreds of private school students and teachers gathered this morning outside the British embassy in Athens and the British consulate in Thessaloniki to deliver a total of 95,000 letters addressed to British Prime Minister Tony Blair calling for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.

The mainly elementary school students delivered the letters and both the British ambassador and the British Consul General pledged to bring the messages to the British Prime Minister.
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May 17, 2004

Athens mayor questions Italians about return of fragment of Parthenon

Posted at 5:08 pm in Elgin Marbles

In 2002, the Italian Government announced that they were going to return a fragment of the Parthenon frieze back to Greece. Since then, due to arguments between the museum in Palermo (which currently holds the piece) & the Italian government, the piece has still not been returned.

From:
Kathimerinini English Edition

Monday May 17, 2004
Papal blessings for Olympics organizers

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope John Paul II urged on Saturday that the forthcoming Olympics should be a show of fraternity and peace, and offered his blessings to the organizers.
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