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Lord Elgin Archives • Elginism

Showing results 1 - 12 of 18 for the tag: Lord Elgin.

November 22, 2016

New finds from wreck of Elgin’s ship off Kythera

Posted at 9:05 am in Elgin Marbles, Events

Lecture at Kings College London by Dimitris Kourkoumelis

Dimitris Kourkoumelis is giving a talk this evening organised by the Greek Archaeological Committee UK at Kings College London on new finds on the wreck of the Mentor off the island of Kythera. The Mentor was of course one of the ships used by Lord Elgin to transport the Parthenon Marbles back to the UK from Greece. It sank in a storm and the sculptures had to be retrieved the following year by sponge divers from Kalymnos.

Underwater excavations of The Mentor off Kythera

Underwater excavations of The Mentor off Kythera

From:
Kings College London

Greek Archaeological Committee UK Annual Lecture
Locatio Great Hall, King’s Building, Strand Campus
Category: Lecture, Other
When: 22/11/2016 (19:00-20:30)
Contact: This event is open to all and free to attend. Booking is not required.

Please direct enquiries to chs@kcl.ac.uk.
Recent research and new finds from the MENTOR shipwreck at Cythera (1802)

The recent archaeological expeditions (2009, 2011-15) conducted by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities at the wreck of the brig Mentor, which sank in 1802 off Kythera, have been focused mainly on excavating the section of the hull that is still well preserved, as well as collecting information about the passengers, the crew and the cargo of the ship. The brig, owned by Lord Elgin, was transporting some of the antiquities and sculptures taken from the Acropolis monuments, and sank off the small port of Avlemonas in September 1802. From the 19th to the 21st century, there have been several underwater investigations on the wreck undertaken with the aim to discover the “marble” sculptures, which, according to rumour, should still remain at the site.
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December 3, 2014

Did people really think Elgin’s removal of marbles was legal

Posted at 9:01 am in Elgin Marbles

I have been aware of this letter for quite some time, but due to the fact that most of the articles I post are from current news sources, it has not been mentioned on this site before.

Many claim that at time of the removal of the Marbles Elgin was merely doing the same as many others & that it was not called into question. There are various things that suggest this is not the case, but the argument is still pushed as fact by many supporters of retention of the sculptures.

A letter from Robert Adair (who was in charge of British affairs in Constantinople in 1809 – 1810) clearly in a response to a request from Lord Elgin. It appears that Elgin had asked Adair for a letter to help to bolster his claim for the Marbles, although as no copy of this request exists, it is hard to know exactly what the request was.

Adair’s reply to Elgin was clear – “that the Porte absolutely denied your having any property in those marbles. By this expression I understood the Porte to mean that the persons who had sold the marbles to your Lordship had no right so to dispose of them.”

From this wording, it seems fairly clear that to Adair at least (and he was a senior diplomat on the ground in the country that was supposed to have permitted Elgin to remove the sculptures), that Elgin had absolutely no legal entitlement to the sculptures whatsoever.

You can read a much more in-depth analysis of this letter, along with photos of the original on Theodore Theodorou’s website.

Below is the full text of the letter.

From:
AdairToElgin.com

July 31st 1811

My Lord

In answer to your Lordship’s enquiry respecting the marbles collected by your Lordship at Athens, and for leave to transmit which to this country I was directed by the Sec(retary) of State for foreign affairs to apply to the Turkish government, I have to inform your Lordship that Mr Pisani more than once assured me that the Porte absolutely denied your having any property in those marbles. By this expression I understood the Porte to mean that the persons who had sold the marbles to your Lordship had no right so to dispose of them.

At the same time I beg leave to add that this communication was not made to me in any formal conference with the Turkish ministers.

I have the honour to be,
my Lord,
your Lordship’s most obed(ien)t
and humble serv(an)t
R. Adair

November 23, 2012

Elgin’s artefacts that got lost in transit

Posted at 9:03 am in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Over the last couple of years, Greek Australian John Fardoulis has been carrying out archaeological excavations on the wreck of Elgin’s ship, the Mentor. The boat sank in a storm off the coast of Kythera, and at the time was carrying many of the Parthenon sculptures, although these were later retrieved by sponge divers from Kalymnos. The new excavations of the wreck site, have revealed some interesting artefacts that were in Elgin’s posession – although nothing so far that relates directly to the Parthenon Marbles.

From:
Greek Reporter

Greek Antiquities Found On Mentor Shipwreck
By Christina Flora on November 20, 2012

The underwater shipwreck excavation of the wreck of the ship Mentor, that sank off the island of Kythera in 1802 while carrying goods plundered from the Parthenon by British diplomat Lord Elgin has proved to be a treasure trove of personal items from the passengers and crew.

A greater number of coins were also found, at least two ancient silver coins which were antiquities acquired by Elgin, passengers or the crew,along with two gold coins, used as currency at the time, from the late 1700’s. Other coins were also recovered but require conservation before they can be identified. Some of these may also be ancient.
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July 20, 2012

Excavating the wreck of the Mentor – Lord Elgin’s ship that carried the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 1:18 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology

Excavations of Lord Elgin’s Ship, the Mentor, which was wrecked of Kythera, have continued this year, following on from the successful work that was done last summer.

The article below is a computer translation. If you follow the link at the start, you can read the original Greek version.

From:
Ta Nea

Under the microscope the wreck of archaeologists carrying the sculptures in England
Published: Friday, July 13, 2012
Last update: 07.13.2012 14:29

The hull of the ship that transported the sculptures in England and sank southwest of Kythira, in 1802, excavations revealed the Inspectorate of Underwater Antiquities. We also found dozens of items crew with great historical value.

The ship “MENTOR” was sunk in September 1802 at the entrance of the port of Avlaimona. This ship is always the motivation of the research on the possible discovery of other sculptures in the sand. The underwater survey lasted 17 days.
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March 17, 2012

Wreck of the Mentor that carried Elgin Marbles excavated off coast of Kythera

Posted at 2:56 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology

More coverage of the excavations on the wreck of the Mentor, the ship that was carrying the Parthenon Sculptures to Britain before it sank in a storm.

You can also view a press release about the project with some photos & further details here.

From:
Greek Reporter

Research on the Shipwreck “Mentor” Which Carried Elgin Marbles
Posted on 10 August 2011 by Lia Pavlou

According to an article in the Greek newspaper “Eleftherotypia”, research was conducted by the Ephorate of Marine Antiquities from July 6-15 on the wreck of the ship “Mentor” which had once carried some of the Elgin marbles. The research was financed by the Australian Foundation “Kytherian Research Group.”

The ship, originally chartered by Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin and British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1799–1803, was a brig, built in 1780, that set sail from Piraeus on September 16th, 1802. However, near Cape Tainaro, strong winds made the voyage difficult and in Avlemonas, on the island of Kythyra, the ship ran upon the rocks and sank. Elgin, at his own expense, made great efforts to salvage the stolen treasures from the sunken ship. This operation lasted more than two years and, in the end, bankrupted Elgin. It was for this reason that he eventually sold the marbles to the British Museum for a very low price.
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March 16, 2012

Divers explore the wreck of ship that carried the Elgin Marbles from Greece

Posted at 6:14 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

A team of divers, led by archaeologist Demetris Kourkoumelis have organised new excavations of the remains of the ship, the Mentor, which was lost in a storm off Kythera whilst transporting many of the Parthenon Sculptures to London. The sculptures were subsequently recovered by sponge divers from Kalymnos.

From:
Bloomberg News

Team Explores 19th Century Parthenon Marble Shipwreck in Greece
By Natalie Weeks – Aug 8, 2011 1:40 PM GMT

A team of underwater explorers in Greece examined the shipwreck of the Mentor, which sunk in 1802 as it transported marbles from the Parthenon to London.

The sculptures, part of the Parthenon collection taken and sent to England by Lord Elgin, were recovered after the ship sunk and no additional pieces were found in last month’s or in three previous explorations, the Athens-based Culture and Tourism Ministry said in an e-mailed statement today.
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December 7, 2010

Lord Elgin speaks about the reasons for returning artefacts to their country of origin

Posted at 1:56 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

In a very interesting followup to the amusing story of Lord Elgin’s rocks, on display in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the current Lord Elgin has given an interview about why he made the decision to return the rocks, along with various other items to Canada.

Most telling is the quote near the end of the video:

It was a pity I felt, that people in Canada were not able to see them & touch them & so on & only hear about them.
There came a moment that there was a place that they could go to, where they would become, as they were in our house a part of our family, they were going to go back to be part of the family that was Canada.

Surely the same now applies to Greece since the building of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens?

As I’ve said before, one wonders whether the Elgin Marbles would already be back in Greece if the Seventh Earl of Elgin hadn’t been forced to sell them when faced with bankruptcy?

February 21, 2009

Yves Saint Lauren, China & the son of Lord Elgin

Posted at 12:09 pm in Similar cases

Despite attempts by China to block the sale of artefacts looted from Beijing & now in the collection of the late Yves Saint Lauren, the sale is still due to proceed.

A new & bizarre twist in the story is added by the seller’s offer to trade the artefacts in exchange for recognising human rights within China.

From:
Christian Science Monitor

China protests Christie’s auction in Paris of relics
Legal efforts to retrieve two bronzes looted by Western troops in 1860 may fail. Another option: let wealthy donors buy them back.
By Peter Ford | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the February 20, 2009 edition

Beijing – A rat and a rabbit, emerging from a century and a half of peaceful seclusion, have found themselves in the eye of an international storm about their future, and the proper fate of looted artworks.

Once upon a time, the two animal heads, cast in bronze, adorned a water clock fountain in the Chinese emperor’s Summer Palace here. They were plundered when British and French troops ransacked and burned the palace buildings in 1860.
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February 13, 2009

More on the Yves Saint Lauren artefact sale

Posted at 7:46 pm in Similar cases

Further coverage of the planned sale of disputed Chinese artefacts from the collection of Yves Saint Lauren.

From:
The Scotsman

Friday, 13th February 2009
China and France in tug-of-war over Yves St Laurent treasures
By Ethan McNern

CHINA has demanded the return of looted imperial bronzes due to be auctioned in Paris as part of the estate of the late French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.
The sculptures of a rat’s head and a rabbit’s head disappeared in 1860, when French and British forces looted and then burned the former summer palace on the outskirts of Beijing at the end of the second Opium War.

Jiang Yu, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said yesterday that the pieces had been “stolen and taken away by intruders,” and “should be returned to China”.
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January 25, 2009

A response to Alastair Bruce

Posted at 2:00 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku responds to the piece published earlier this month by Alastair Bruce – the great great great grandson of Lord Elgin.

From:
Afrikanet

Datum: 24.01.09 17:12
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst
Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku
Response to the great great great grandson of Lord Elgin

Alastair Bruce may have a filial duty in respect of the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles and no one can criticise him for that. (http://www.sharonwaxman.com) After all, we are not responsible for the deeds or misdeeds of our ancestors. What he should really not expect from the rest of us is to buy the argument that his Great Great Great Grandfather, Lord Elgin, “wanted to preserve them from the destruction they faced, at a time when war and local indifference was grinding away at the edifice.” This is a baseless argument which has been used by all those who have taken illegally or in a questionable manner, the cultural objects of others. It is an extremely weak argument which does not gain credibility by being repeated often. Who preserved these objects before his Great Great Great Grandfather ever set foot in Athens?
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January 22, 2009

Yves Saint Laurent and the Eighth Earl of Elgin

Posted at 1:40 pm in Similar cases

In Beijing, the Eighth Earl of Elgin has a similar reputation to that which his Father (The Seventh Earl) enjoys in Greece. China is now fighting back, trying to block auctions involving artefacts that were looted by the Eighth Earl.

From:
The Times

January 21, 2009
China tries to halt Yves Saint Laurent art sale
Charles Bremner in Paris and Jane Macartney in Beijing

China is trying to block the sale in Paris of two 18th-century bronze animal heads from the collection of Yves Saint Laurent, the late French couturier, because they were looted from Beijing by a marauding Franco-British army.

A team of Beijing lawyers is to lodge a suit with French courts to prevent the sale during a three-day auction by Christie’s from February 23.
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January 8, 2009

Lord Elgin’s great great great grandson on the Marbles

Posted at 8:51 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

One of Lord Elgin’s descendants has written this short piece about the Marbles. He seems to stick to the post-rationalised agenda of his ancestor, that the sculptures were only removed for their own preservation, before reverting to the often repeated argument that return can’t happen because it would set a precedent.

Setting aside whether or not a precedent would be set, I continue to find it disturbing that the fact that one might have to do the right thing again in the future is used as a feeble justification for not doing the right thing today – if something needs to be done, it needs to be done – if you keep hanging onto this reasoning, everything else will end up going back first, before the precedent argument is abandoned to be replaced by some other equally spurious one.

From:
Sky News

MPs Pushing Elgin’s Marbles Back To Greece
Alastair Bruce
January 8, 2009 11:29 PM

Two MPs championing the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece this year, to mark the opening of a new museum at the ancient Acropolis in Athens, have sent letters out this week to all their fellow legislators recruiting Parliamentary support.

My interest in this is because the marbles were brought back to Britain from Athens by my Great Great Great Grandfather, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, at the start of the 19th century. He was passionate about antiquities and wanted to preserve them from the destruction they faced, at a time when war and local indifference was grinding away at the edifice.
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