Whilst this is an interesting story, the comparison to the Parthenon Marbles seems completely spurious. As far as I can understand, Melbourne is making no claim on them – if Bendigo could build a facility to house them, the artefacts would be returned. This is entirely different to the case, where Greece has a building to house the Parthenon Marbles, but the British Museum refuses to return them.
Bendigo Advertiser 
Artefacts should stay here says historian
23 Mar, 2011 03:00 AM
PRICELESS artefacts dug from a central Bendigo building site must come home to Bendigo to teach us about our city’s past, a local historian says.
Bendigo Historical Society secretary Trevor Parsons said the artefacts, including priceless glassware, crockery and building remnants unearthed at the site now occupied by RSD House in Forest Street, deserve a home in Bendigo.
For now, they are collated and preserved with Heritage Victoria in Melbourne, but Bendigo has no museum or other facility to house such a collection.
“It’s like the Elgin Marbles story, isn’t it?” he said.
The Elgin Marbles, also known as the Parthenon Marbles, are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures that were removed from Greece and are now housed at the British museum, much to the chagrin of the people of Greece.
“The Bendigo Historical Society has not developed an official policy on this in committee but I think our philosophy would be that any artefacts found in Bendigo should stay in Bendigo,” he said.
“They should be housed in a museum. These things are a part of the fabric of Bendigo’s history and will add to Bendigo’s narrative.
“Anything that adds to that fabric and that narrative is a good thing. Bendigo’s story is not taught enough.”
The Bendigo Historical Society, which will be forced to leave the old Bendigo jail next month to make way for a community theatre development, has secured space to house its historical documents but still has nowhere to store its larger pieces.