Showing results 25 - 36 of 101 for the tag: London.

June 13, 2012

Stephen Fry convinces the public that returning the Elgin Marbles would be the right thing to do

Posted at 1:12 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

More coverage of the Intelligence Squared debate on the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles held at Cadogan Hall last Monday. The London Bytes blog also has a good writeup of the event.

From:
Guardian

Stephen Fry steals show, and Greek hearts, in Parthenon marbles debate
A talk in London about whether the British Museum should return the sculptures was screened live to an audience in Athens
Posted by
Lizzy Davies
Tuesday 12 June 2012 15.00 BST

They came in their Athenian finery, filing patiently into the low-lit auditorium and waiting to hear a message of hope. Its deliverer: a man who until recently was unknown to them but who is now regarded as something of a hero; a saviour of the Greek people in the face of foreign meddling and arrogance; a man who has come to their rescue in troubled times to fight for Hellenic pride.

No, restrain yourselves; it wasn’t Syriza’s Alexis Tsipras. The man they had come to see was one Stephen Fry, and the issue at stake was the future of the Parthenon marbles, currently held by the British Museum.
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More coverage of Andrew George MP & Stephen Fry’s success in Monday’s Parthenon Marble debate

Posted at 1:00 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

More coverage of the results of Monday’s debate on the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, organised by Intelligence Squared.

From:
Daily Telegraph

Stephen Fry calls for Britain to return Parthenon Frieze to Greece
Stephen Fry said that the classical Greek sculptures, which reside in the British Museum, should be returned to “a country in dire need”.
By Florence Waters
10:51AM BST 12 Jun 2012

The actor has said that restoring the marbles, which rank among the greatest treasures in British Museum’s collection, would be the ultimate show of “friendship” to a country in crisis – and would send out the right message to the rest of the world.

The Parthenon Frieze, part of a wider collection of classical sculptures called the Elgin Marbles, has resided in Britain since the early 19th century when they were brought over to Britain by explorer Lord Elgin.
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Stephen Fry: “It would be a ‘classy’ move for Britain to return the Parthenon Marbles”

Posted at 12:46 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Some press coverage of the Intelligence Squared Parthenon Marbles debate that took place on Monday.

From:
BBC News

11 June 2012 Last updated at 22:30
Stephen Fry’s Parthenon Marbles plea backed in debate vote
By Trevor Timpson BBC News

A call backed by actor Stephen Fry for the return to Greece of the British Museum’s Parthenon Marbles has come out on top in a debate held in London.

Fry said it would be a “classy” move to restore the sculptures brought to the UK by Lord Elgin in the 19th Century.
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June 12, 2012

The Intelligence Squared debate over whether the Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Athens

Posted at 1:52 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Events

Along with many others, I attended the debate at Cadogan Hall in London last night, on whether the Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Athens.

The final line up for the debate was:

For the Motion
Andrew George MP
Stephen Fry

Against the motion
Tristram Hunt MP (& historian)
Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (Professor of History at Notre Dame University in the USA)

The debate was chaired by BBC World News presenter Zeinab Badawi.

As people entered the debate, a poll was taken, and gave the following results:
For the motion: 196
Against the motion: 202
Undecided: 158

So, at this stage, those who wanted to keep the Marbles in the British Museum were in the majority, albeit by a small amount. The hope was, that even if these people couldn’t be convinced, to changed their minds, then those who were undecided would be able to be swung towards the case for their return.

I won’t go into too much detail on Andrew George’s arguments & Stephen Fry’s, as articles by both of them have already been posted on this site & there were no major surprises in the approach that they took (links to previous articles – Andrew George – Comment: No bailout, but will the Elgin marbles do? & Stephen Fry – A modest proposal). Andrew George opened, with his recounting of attempts to table an Early Day Motion about the Stone Henge megaliths in Greece (followup here), which although it is on the face of it just an amusing story, highlights that people may well see things differently, when they look at a similar situation from the opposite side of the table.

Stephen Fry’s assertions were for us to show that we can be a classy country – that we can do the right thing & make Britain look good on an international stage, rather than clinging on to the many fallacious arguments that often seem to engulf this issue.

Tristram Hunt mentioned early on, that “Athens is just as well equipped to look after the Marbles as Britain“. Coming from someone arguing to keep them here, perhaps this should finally put to rest, the contention (which probably should have gone away about the same time the British Empire ended) that the Greeks could not look after the artefacts as well as the British.

After this positive (for those arguing for their return) start though, there was some slight topic drift, with comparisons to the Wedgewood china around the world that comes from the potteries of Stoke-on-Trent (singing the praises of his own constituency as much as anything else). While he is right that Wedgewood pottery has made Stoke on Trent famous around the world, what we are talking about here is a product of the industrial revolution – something that is mass produced & designed to be sold. In most cases, there are no doubts over the rightful owners & none of the plates that I know of were ever designed with the purpose as serving as integral structural elements of a building in a UNESCO World Heritage site. He argued, that the people of Greece should be proud that their marbles are on display in the British Museum. Whether or not they are proud, is not quite the point here, as they never requested that they were put on display in Britain – so it can’t be compared to the popularity of loans made to museums, with the main intention of exhibiting culture around the world.

Then, the assertion was made, that the marbles had been acquired completely legally by Elgin. This statement (which he would not back down from), goes against much of the research into the firman, which we only know of through a single surviving translated copy in Italian, which gives Elgin no clear permission to do anything other than take casts & remove loose pieces of stone that had already fallen to the ground. Alluding to the run up to the second gulf war, Andrew George had already referred to the firman, as Elgin’s dodgy dossier. Even at the time of Elgin’s sale of the sculptures to the British government, the speaker’s notes read “Lord Elgin’s petition presented. The collection praised. Lord Elgin’s conduct, and his right to the collection as his private property much questioned. Petition to lie on the table.” so clearly not everyone sees this as quite such a clear cut case of completely legitimate ownership.

Hunt (Tristram, not Elgin’s chaplain) stated, that he sees the firman as entirely legal, on the basis that it has never been challenged in law. I wanted to ask him (but did not get the chance to), whether, on this basis, were the case of legitimate ownership by the British Museum challenged in a British or International court, he would then be willing to revoke this argument & accept that they were in Britain unlawfully.

Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, took the stage after Stephen Fry, although he had earlier made some pointed comments that the motion for the debate had to be stuck to – that we were only discussing the merits of returning the Parthenon Marbles to Athens, & that whether or not they were going to be displayed in the New Acropolis Museum was not a relevant point.

After a complete derailment of the argument where he tried to describe Stephen Fry as a national treasure, he settled down to actually discussing the issue at hand. He sees the New Acropolis Museum as a different type of Museum to the British Museum, where we should think of it as being a mirror, rather than a window. This might be the cases, and they are definitely different types of museum – but that does not necessarily mean that one role or mode of display is somehow any more valid than another.

A lot of his reasoning hung on the Universal Museum argument – something that has received much criticism in the past & is definitely not an idea accepted universally. He pointed out that for professionals, having centres of reasearch is important, but it is unclear, why Athens itself (it does not have to be limited to a single institution, as they are all relatively near to one another) could not become a centre for the research of Greek sculpture on this basis. He suggested that only in the British Museum are researchers able to uncover new facts about the artefacts, but surely perhaps a whole different set of new findings might emerge if the sculptures could be observed in the context of other artefacts from the same location, but different eras?

The slippery slope (also known as the floodgates) argument was raised, yet this argument tends to ignore three points – the first being, that many artefacts have already been returned from museums for a variety of reasons & in a variety of circumstances, without opening any floodgates. The second point, is that each cases is unique & assessed on its own individual merits, so it is hard for a precedent to be set. The final problem with this argument, is that it advocates not taking the right action now, for fear that you might have to repeat it again in the future – when surely, if it is the right action, then it is right for it to be repeated?

He also raised the possibility that the campaign for return of the marbles was a recent thing & a sign of Greek nationalism – comparing it (somewhat insultingly) to the rise of Golden Dawn & Neo-Naziism at the most recent elections in Athens (I know many who support the return of the Marbles & none of them are even vaguely close to supporting the principles of Golden Dawn). This argument ignores many earlier restitution requests & proposals, along with the fact that Elgin’s actions were mentioned in a critical way less than fifty years after the removal of the sculptures.

There was quite a lengthy Q&A session, where members of the audience raised their own points both for & against the return of the sculptures. This revealed one other interesting point – they wanted to get the opinions of some Greeks, and it became clear, that while there were many Greeks in the audience, they were clearly outnumbered by the non-Greeks, probably constituting less than 20% of those there.

At the end, a new poll was taken, giving the following result:

For the motion: 384
Against the motion: 125
Undecided: 24

Note that the totals vary slightly, because a number of people had to leave early, as the debate lasted longer than had originally been indicated.

So what had begun as a slight win for those in favour of keeping the sculptures in Britain turned into a resounding vote in favour of their return.

If we look at the numbers more closely, we can see that the number in favour of return almost doubled, while those wanting to keep them here reduced by 60%. Only 15% of the original fence sitters were left, with the rest having managed to make up their mind one way or the other.

As an overall result, nearly three times as many people were in favour of the return of the sculptures as wanted to keep them in the UK, with less than 5% being unwilling to express an opinion either way.

This highlights what I have thought for a long time – that the more people know about the Marbles, the more they are likely to support their return. It definitely appeared to be true in this case.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the debate (on both sides) & attended it – I think a lot of people learned many new points about the subject & some were even persuaded to change their point of view on it. Thank you especially to Zeinab Badawi, for managing to control both sides, keeping them on topic & trying to let as many people have their say within a limited amount of time (and adding a bit of amusement to the proceedings at times too).

Edited recordings of the event will be broadcast on BBC World News at 09:10 and 21:10 on 23 June, and 02:10 and 15:10 on 24 June. See this post for more details of how to watch it.

After the first TV broadcast date, the recording will also be available to watch on Intelligence Squared’s website and on their Youtube Channel

Please use the #iq2marbles hashtag if you want to search for (or discuss) coverage of the event on Twitter

June 8, 2012

Parthenon Marbles debate to be broadcast live at Acropolis Museum & re-shown on following day

Posted at 12:58 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

More coverage of the fact that the Intelligence Squared debate on the Parthenon Marbles, will be relayed live to the Acropolis Museum in Athens.

Note also, that the final lineup for the debate has now been announced. Andrew George MP (Chair of the Marbles Reunited campaign) is to replace Anna Diamantopoulou, who is no longer able to attend because of the new elections that have been called in Greece for June 17th.

The chair for the debate has also been announced as BBC News presenter Zeinab Badawi.

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Live from London: Debating on the Parthenon Marbles
Thursday June 7, 2012 (17:53)

Greece has found a number of prominent allies in the ongoing 200-year-old discussion on whether the Parthenon Marbles should leave the premises of the British Museum in London and return to Athens.

“What greater gesture could be made to Greece in its appalling finance distress? An act of friendship, atonement and an expression of faith in the future of the cradle of democracy would be so, well just so damned classy,” British comedian and author Stephen Fry wrote on the subject of their possible return in an essay published in December last year.
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June 7, 2012

Two stolen artefacts returned to Greece from Britain on display in the Byzantine Museum in Athens

Posted at 1:07 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Two stolen artefacts from a Greek church & one of the monasteries on mount Athos have now been returned to Greece & are going on temporary display.

From:
Greek Reporter

Ancient Greek Items Exhibited at Athens Byzantine Museum
By Marianna Tsatsou on June 3, 2012

Two stolen ancient items, which were displayed until recently in the UK, were transferred to Greece and are now hosted by the Athens Byzantine and Christian Museum beginning as of Wednesday, May 30.

The items will be kept in Athens only temporarily at the Museum, until being given to representatives of the appropriate Ephorates of the Hellenic Museum of Culture.
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June 2, 2012

Live broadcast of the Intellegence Squared Parthenon Marbles debate at the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 12:37 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Events

The Intelligence Squared Debate in London on the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, is going to be streamed live to the New Acropolis Museum in Athens, for any Greeks (or others in the area at the time) who want to watch it.

The original article is in Greek. What follows is a rather poor attempt at converting it into English with Google Translate. Follow the link to read the original Greek text. And note that the times are different to the UK event, to allow for the different time zones.

There is also a poll on the page – so remember to visit the page to add your vote.

From:
Intelligence Squared Greece

EVENT INFO
Monday, June 11, 2012, 20.30 – 10.30 (20.20 close attendance)
Intelligence Squared Greece and the Acropolis Museum presents an exclusive live broadcast from London, the debate on the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens

Admission is free with pre-booked seats necessary.

Legally owned the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum? Would Greece be sure, if they returned to Athens? These two questions are central to a debate that lasts for more than 200 years. The views are changing, along with the conditions in both countries, but this issue remains unresolved. In a particularly critical period for Greece where the image of the country is often hit in the international media, but just before the Olympic Games in London, presents an Intelligence Squared debate on this timeless question. Whether the time has come to return the Marbles to Athens? Can this be a move to Greece friendship, or even the biggest tribute to our country? Or is the argument that Britain Greece does not have the resources they need maintenance of marbles and show them to a worldwide audience, be more true today than in the past?

* The debate will be held in English with simultaneous translation into Greek.

May 21, 2012

Olympic torch ceremony raises issues of Anglo-Hellenic disagreement over the Parthenon Sculptures to the forefront

Posted at 1:05 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

More coverage of yesterday’s article by Henry Porter, on why he thinks that Britain needs to reconsider their stance on the issue of the restitution of the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum.

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Monday May 21, 2012
Ritual reignites Marbles debate

A few days after Greece handed the Olympic Flame to Britain, which is hosting the Olympic Games in July, another eminent Briton joined the chorus of those calling for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum.

In an article in Sunday’s Observer, veteran journalist Henry Porter called on Britons to look beyond Greece’s economic crisis and consider Western civilization’s debt to the country. “I am suggesting that in the light of everything Western civilization owes Greece — in terms of democratic ideas, the Olympics, science, art and architecture — we should begin to address a simple truth: The Parthenon Marbles are not ours to keep,” Porter wrote in the piece titled “The Greeks gave us the Olympics. Let them have their marbles.”
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May 20, 2012

Why the time to return the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece is long overdue

Posted at 1:43 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

As many (notably Mary Beard) have pointed out on twitter, this article is not without its inaccuracies – not least the fact that the photo shows a different set of artefacts & that the Vestal Virgins were from Rome, not Greece.

Despite this though (& we must remember that its hardly as though people arguing for retention of the sculptures never make gross factual errors too), the persuasive arguments made are unchanged – that Britain really needs to accept that the Parthenon Marbles don’t belong to them, and that the time when it was appropriate to return them was reached a long time ago. Lord Elgin’s conduct would be completely unacceptable today – and much as we like to imagine it was acceptable then, it was questioned by many at that time too.

As one of may examples, the speaker’s notes from when the Marbles were purchased off Lord Elgin by parliament reads:

Lord Elgin’s petition presented. The collection praised. Lord Elgin’s conduct, and his right to the collection as his private property much questioned. Petition to lie on the table.

Anyway – with the current focus on Greece, and the fact that Britain is borrowing the Olympic legacy from them, I believe, as do many others, that the time for making excuses is over & the time is now right for Britain to make a serious commitment to return them.

From:
Guardian

The Greeks gave us the Olympics. Let them have their marbles
Elgin’s behaviour would be absolutely unacceptable today
Henry Porter
The Observer, Sunday 20 May 2012

Despite the disintegration of their politics and economy, the Greeks can still muster a crew of vestal virgins to light and nurture the Olympic flame. The ceremony had a bogus feel but, dressed in that clinging material the Athenian sculptors rendered so miraculously in marble, the virgins of Vesta the goddess of fire really did look as though they had served as caryatids or just stepped from an ancient frieze.

The idea of the flame and its journey is to imbue the branded and, I have to say, slightly tiresome modern Olympiad with the spirit of the games that were first held in 776BC in honour of Zeus. But the sight of these women also reminds us that, while ancient Greece has given so much to the modern world and sets some kind of bar for all civilisation, it is dishonoured as well as honoured in the 2012 Olympic city.
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May 9, 2012

Why the “No Marbles – No flame” flame campaign for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures won’t succeed

Posted at 2:56 pm in Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

The Olympics in Athens in 2004 was seen as a key milestone for the return of the Parthenon Marbles. At that point in time, it was intended that the New Acropolis Museum would be finished by the time the Olympics arrived in the city. I myself was one of the original members of the Parthenon 2004 (now re-branded as Marbles Reunited) campaign, which wanted a commitment from the British government by the time of the Olympics that the sculptures would be returned.

Alas, it was not to be. Greek politics got in the way of the issue, with the PASOK government being replaced by Nea Dimokratia, only a few months before the Olympics. This has the knock on effects of cancelling pre-planned spending for publicity for the campaign for the return of the marbles, before it was able to make the desired impact. A further problem at this stage was that the ND government, while in opposition had been vehement opponents of the building of the New Acropolis Museum in the first place, which ran on into arguments well after change of government, as they were forced to reverse their policy, in an attempt to re-claim the building project as their own.

As the 2012 Olympics approaches in London & the election season has well & truly hit Greece, we get a sense of history repeating, as similar moves are afoot to connect the event to the return of the Parthenon Sculptures from the British Museum. There is a logical connection to be made here – the case regarding the marbles is one between Greece & the UK – and in a similar way, the Olympics represent a strong tie in of ideas that originate from Greek culture, coming to the UK. As such, it represents an ideal time to highlight the issue – magazines want to run Greek related features & the intertwined history of the two countries is at the forefront of people’s minds for a few weeks.

However, there are other campaigns that want to take a more destructive approach to it – blocking the Olympic flame from being handed over to Britain, unless the Parthenon Marbles are returned.

I can see a number of flaws to this approach – not least the fact, that current events mean that the planned handover later this week are riding on the back of events, that with hindsight are unlikely to be seen as one of the high-points in Greece’s history. I don’t claim to fully understand Greek politics (although I try my hardest), but I have had a lot of insights into how British politics and the British press work.

As with the events disrupting the Olympic torch relay before the Beijing Olympics, mixing politics with a sporting event which is meant to unite countries is unlikely to be a good combination. People are meant to be looking at how the countries set aside their differences for the sake of the competition, rather than antagonising each other.

Within the UK, some of the newspapers are already in support of the Parthenon Marbles return campaigns, but others are strongly against it. Such antagonistic actions as disrupting the lead up to the Olympics, will not be portrayed well by these papers (that point I am willing to stake money on) and these papers are read by many who believe everything they read in those papers. As such, the open minded people who support the return of the Marbles might hold their existing point of views, but many of those against restitution will use this as another point to shore up their arguments, that keeping them in the British Museum is the best option. A move to return the Marbles is only ever in the end likely to come from the British Government (although they might claim otherwise), and one thing about governments is that they like to be re-elected. If their constituents are all seen to be against the return of the sculptures, then British MPs are unlikely to see it as a key issue to support.

As such, the British Government is more likely to support maintaining the status quo regarding their policy on the marbles, when subjected to such demands. Campaigns for the return of the marbles are far more likely to succeed, when they manage to put the issue in such a way that the government can see the eventual return as their decision, not one they have been forced into taking. Governments and politicians like to gain public attention in a positive light – the magnanimous gesture of taking the decision to return the sculptures, in front of the international press could be seen as a vote winner, while being portrayed as supine whipping boys to the demands of foreign nationalistic campaigns (for this is how the press would portray it) would not be thought of as a vote winning exercise by many.

For these reasons, I can’t see the No Marbles – No Flame aspect of certain current campaigns as being likely to succeed in its aims of returning the marbles, although like other current events in Greece, it may well a way to grab a few minutes of fame for a few people.

In some ways, this has been a long running theme of campaigns from within Greece for the return of the Marbles. Greek politicians see the event as a vote winner domestically (which it nearly always is), yet they are afraid to actually deal with it internationally – because such actions inevitably would lead to some form of compromise or negotiated deal – which could well be reported in a bad light by the Greek press as their having given up more of the country’s heritage in return for what was rightfully theirs in the first place. Greek politicians all know this and are generally great at playing the Greek press – but few seem to think in as much detail about how to work with the British Press – despite the fact that the UK’s media are in many ways the ones that could decide the eventual fate of the sculptures.

As it happens, the timing of current events surrounding Greece’s general election & the Eurozone crisis are likely to completely overshadow any attempts to bloc the handover of the flame, limiting the amount of reporting it will get in the press – particularly as it is now predicted by many, that it will happen on the same day as a new general election is going to be called.

On the other hand, I could be completely wrong & David Cameron may be already writing his speech for Thursday evening’s surprise decision to return the Parthenon Sculptures – I’ve been wrong about many things in the past – but I have a feeling that I probably won’t be this time.

Campaigning for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures is an admirable cause, which I am fully behind, but it should be done in a way that aims to move the issue forwards rather than pushing back much of the progress that has already been made. A lot like Greek elections really…

From:
Athens News

Parthenon Marbles campaigners fired up by flame handover
by George White
9 May 2012

Campaigners seeking the return of the Parthenon Marbles – also known as the Elgin Marbles – to Greece are hoping that attention on the London Olympics and the torch relay will further their effort.

Alexis Mantheakis, chairman of the International Parthenon Sculptures Action Committee spoke to the Athens News ahead of Thursday’s ceremony at Ancient Olympia to light the flame for the July 27–August 12 London Olympics.
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April 25, 2012

Intelligence Squared organises London debate on the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 1:21 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Events

Intelligence Squared are organising a debate about whether the Parthenon Sculptures should be returned to Greece.

Speakers include Stephen Fry, who has recently written at length about why he supports the campaign for their return.

According to the website, the debate will also be later screened on BBC World News.

From:
Intelligence Squared

Send them back: The Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Athens
June 11th, 2012, Cadogan Hall
Doors open at 6pm. The debate will begin at 6.45pm and finish at 8.30pm

What’s all this nonsense about sending the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece? If Lord Elgin hadn’t rescued them from the Parthenon in Athens and presented them to the British Museum almost 200 years ago, these exquisite sculptures – the finest embodiment of the classical ideal of beauty and harmony – would have been lost to the ravages of pollution and time. So we have every right to keep them: indeed, returning them would set a dangerous precedent, setting off a clamour for every Egyptian mummy and Grecian urn to be wrenched from the world’s museums and sent back to its country of origin. It is great institutions like the British Museum that have established such artefacts as items of world significance: more people see the Marbles in the BM than visit Athens every year. Why send them back to relative obscurity?

But aren’t such arguments a little too imperialistic? All this talk of visitor numbers and dangerous precedents – doesn’t it just sound like an excuse for Britain to hold on to dubiously acquired treasures that were removed without the consent of the Greek people to whom they culturally and historically belong? That’s what Lord Byron thought, and now Stephen Fry is taking up the cause. We should return the Marbles as a gesture of solidarity with Greece in its financial distress, says Fry, and as a mark of respect for the cradle of democracy and the birthplace of rational thought.
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April 18, 2012

The issues with free museum entry in the UK

Posted at 7:48 am in British Museum

As mentioned before, the British Museum enjoys pointing out that only in London can the Elgin Marbles be seen free of charge. This fact does of course rely on the huge subsidies by the British government, something that is getting more & more problematic in the face of other cutbacks in public spending.

From:
The Art Newspaper

Ten years of free entry, but can it last?
Why the political gain in the United Kingdom outweighs the economic cost
By Javier Pes. Museums, Issue 232, February 2012
Published online: 01 February 2012

Maintaining free entry to the UK’s national museums, as the secretary of state for culture Jeremy Hunt blogged in December on the tenth anniversary of its introduction, doesn’t come cheap: it costs around £44m a year to maintain free admission to national museums that previously charged, or around £354m in total since 1999. And yet he is happy to support it.

Why is the government backing a scheme launched in 2001 by the Labour government it routinely criticises for free-spending? The coalition is committed to reducing the country’s budget deficit, which peaked at more than 10% of gross domestic product before it came to power in 2010. Yet universal free entry, which Scotland and Wales also introduced in 2001, seems sacrosanct even though cutting the deficit is one of the coalition government’s mantras.
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