Quote of the Day

Once the museum is completed, Greece will have a very strong argument for the return of the Parthenon sculptures.

Kostas Karamanlis, Hellenic Republic Prime Minister

April 20, 2004

Return of Elgin Marbles would “rip heart from museum”

Posted at 9:02 pm in Elgin Marbles

Tory MPs have claimed in a recent debate that returning the Elgin Marbles would be like ripping the heart out of the British Museum. I wish they would explain how the removal of the marbles from the Parthenon does not count as a far worse act.

From:
The Scotsman

Mon 19 Apr 2004 5:21pm (UK)
Marbles Return ‘Would Rip Heart from Museum’
By Vivienne Morgan, Political Staff, PA News

Returning the Elgin Marbles to Greece would “rip the heart out of the British Museum” and must be resisted by ministers, Tories urged today.

Museums minister Estelle Morris said the historic dispute – a source of friction between Greece and Britain for more than 200 years, was not a matter for Government.
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April 19, 2004

Parliamentary questions on the exchange of artefacts

Posted at 8:44 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

On a fairly regular basis, some sort of specific reference is made to the Elgin Marbles in parliament, whether through an EDM or parliamentary questions etc. In this instance, Ansdrew Dismore (Hendon, Lab.) asks the minister for the minister for the arts whether she has been involved in any discussions with the Greek government.
Once again Timothy Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham, Con.) makes arguments about decontextualisation, missing the point that the move to the British Museum was a far worse case of decontextualisation than any which he might be referring to.

From:
Hansard

19 Apr 2004 : Column 13
[....]
Museum Exchanges (Greece)

7. Mr. Andrew Dismore (Hendon) (Lab): What discussions she has had with the Greek government over exchanges of artefacts for exhibition in museums. [166146]

The Minister for the Arts (Estelle Morris): Neither my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State nor I have had discussions with the current Greek Government about such exchanges.
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April 15, 2004

More delays for New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 9:34 pm in New Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum is a project that has dragged on for well over 10 years with various architects. The latest problem is that many local property owners are using the courts to slow the construction process, in the hope that the site without the museum on will increase the value of their property.

From:
Arts & Antiques

Stalemates in Greece
Joel Groover
May 2004

ATHENS, GREECE—Greek officials hoped the empty galleries of a much-anticipated New Acropolis Museum would shame Britain into returning the Elgin Marbles in time for the 2004 Athens Olympics. But the architect of the half-built museum—a glass and steel box on the slopes of the Acropolis—now says it cannot open in time for the Games (August 13–29).
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April 11, 2004

Bringing back old riches to India

Posted at 9:40 pm in Similar cases

The Times of India is arguing (in a somewhat over-optimistic way) that India should emulate the campaigns for the return of the Elgin Marbles in an attempt to retrieve many of their own artefacts that are held by foreign museums.

From:
The Times of India

New duty for the neo-rich: Bring back old riches
GUNVANTHI BALARAM
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SUNDAY, APRIL 11, 2004 02:29:07 AM ]
MUMBAI: It seems that nothing less than a relentless battle and extreme perseverance will help us recover our lost antiquities. And Greece can sure provide us with some tips.

Agrees R Nagaswamy, Tamil Nadu’s former director of archaeology and vice-chancellor of Kancheepuram University , “Look at how Greece is keeping the pressure on the British to return the Elgin marbles by the time of the Athens Olympics. They’ve succeeded in getting many countries on their side—the British public as well—and who knows, soon the British Museum may succumb too. Why Greece , even smaller countries such as Nigeria and Sri Lanka are fighting to get their stolen art treasures back. India should start mobilising international opinion to recover some of its great antiquities,’’ says the veteran archaeologist.
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March 31, 2004

Carolina Kluft as part of the Elgin Marbles?

Posted at 9:16 pm in Acropolis

Reebok is creating a sculpture of Swedish heptathlete Carolina Kluft posed to match one of the figures on the Parthenon Frieze. This sculpture will be used as part of Reebok’s advertising campaign during the Olympics in Athens this summer.

From:
The Independent

31 March 2004 13:53
Athletics: Kluft cast in a classical pose on road to Athens
By Mike Rowbottom

Something unusual happened at yesterday’s publicity appearance in London by the world heptathlon champion, Carolina Kluft. The flaxen-haired darling of the Swedish nation and wider sporting world produced a false smile.

In the circumstances, it was forgivable – the circumstances being that she was standing spotlit on a stage surrounded by television cameramen, photographers and reporters all striving to appear neutral about the fact that another woman was daubing her body with purple-coloured liquid rubber.
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March 24, 2004

Acropolis scaffolding to remain for Olympics

Posted at 9:36 pm in Acropolis

Despite many people’s hopes that the Acropolis restoration might be completed by the start of the Athens Olympics, the works are currently nowhere near to the stage where they can remove the scaffolding that currently enshrouds the building.

From:
Kathimerini (English edition)

Wednesday March 24, 2004
Acropolis to keep its braces

The most famous building on the Acropolis will still be partially obscured by scaffolding during the August Olympics, while half of another important temple on Greece’s top tourist attraction will be missing, officials admitted yesterday.

During a visit yesterday to the ancient citadel, where a massive and painstaking conservation project is under way on the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Propylaea, Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis was given an outline of the time schedules involved.
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Pangalos calls for resignation over Acropolis Museum lawsuit

Posted at 9:31 pm in New Acropolis Museum

Theodoros Pangalos, the former Culture Minister of Greece has called for the current deputy minister, Petros Tatoulis to resign because of the lawsuit he filed intending to stall the construction of the New Acropolis Museum.

From:
Kathimerini (English edition)

Tuesday March 23, 2004
Ex-minister calls for resignation of current deputy over museum suit

PASOK deputy and former Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday called for the resignation of the current deputy culture minister, Petros Tatoulis, for his having lodged a suit — before he entered the Cabinet — against officials involved in plans to build the new Acropolis Museum. The charges were linked with the alleged destruction of antiquities to allow preliminary construction work. “Now Tatoulis is ordering his own legal advisers to fight the suit which he himself lodged,” Pangalos declared in Parliament.

March 23, 2004

A digital reproduction of the Parthenon marbles

Posted at 9:22 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

A project is underway to create high quality digital scans of all the Parthenon sculptures. The intention of this exercise is so that pieces in different museums can be seen together virtually without them ever actually leaving the museums.
To me this sounds too much like a way for institutions such as the British Museum to try & strengthen their argument, by offering to return virtual copies rather than the actual artefacts themselves.

From:
BBC News

Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 March, 2004, 10:01 GMT
New life for old Elgin Marbles?

One of the greatest artworks of all time is scattered in fragments across Europe. But there is now a way to view the surviving Parthenon sculptures together for the first time – a virtual reconstruction.

They’re still magnificent nearly 2,500 years after being carved, but the sculptures of the Parthenon are a bit like sad ghosts – pale, battered, half-lost and spread far and wide.
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March 1, 2004

Calls for Parthenon Marbles return

Posted at 1:45 pm in Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

Debate on the Parthenon Marbles continues – with many different opinions.

From:
Star Ledger (New Jersey)

Crusade calls for art’s return
Amid Olympic fervor, Britain entreated to give back Greek masterpieces
Sunday, February 29, 2004
BY REBECCA GOLDSMITH
For the Star-Ledger

LONDON — When a British ambassador pried some 70 tons of sculpture from the walls of the Parthenon in the early 1800s to decorate his Scottish estate, Athens was a remote outpost of the Ottoman Empire.

Greece did not exist as an independent country. And ancient treasures around the world belonged to anyone important and rich enough to cart them away.
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February 29, 2004

Could the return of the Elgin Marbles aid Scottish Museums?

Posted at 1:58 pm in Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

An exchange of artefacts in return for the Restitution of the Elgin Marbles could be beneficial beyond the context of the British Museum.

From:
The Scotsman

Saturday, 28th February 2004
Elgin Marbles plan to aid museums
JOHN ROSS

SCOTTISH museums could benefit from a plan to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece, it has been claimed.

The Scottish launch of the Marbles Reunited campaign is being held in Inverness tonight, with the aim of persuading the government and the British Museum in London to agree to release the marbles on long-term loan in time for the Olympic Games in Athens.
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Marbles Reunited at the Athens Concert Hall

Posted at 1:55 pm in Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

The Marbles Reunited campaign has organised an exhibition about the Elgin Marbles that is currently on display at the Athens Concert Hall.

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Saturday February 28, 2004
‘The Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles: A Cultural Imperative’
HELBI

Nothing can stop an idea when it’s time has come, and now that 80 percent of the British people have agreed in a poll that it is time for the British Museum to give the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece, the process has been set in motion. The decision is up to the British government. The British Museum is the cultural body charged with guarding and exhibiting the “Elgin” Marbles — that is, the Parthenon Marbles, taken down and taken away by Lord Elgin, who was then the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. However, the cause can be helped by the presence of someone with the stature of the president of Greece, Costis Stephanopoulos, a personage who can achieve as much as a dozen exhibitions, petitions and speeches. Read the rest of this entry »

February 28, 2004

Acropolis Museum delays impact opening date

Posted at 2:03 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

More on the delays to the proposed opening date of the New Acropolis Museum.

From:
The Guardian

Greek Museum Won’t Be Ready for Olympics
Tuesday February 24, 2004 11:46 PM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – A new Acropolis museum being built to house sculptures from the ancient Parthenon will not be finished before the Aug. 13-29 Olympics, Greece’s culture minister said Tuesday.

The museum at the foot of the Acropolis hill – held up by court actions from residents – is a key part of Athens’ drive to press for the return of the collection from the British Museum in London.
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