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Casts of Parthenon Marbles for auction

On 28th February, Sothebys [1] are holding an auction of plaster casts from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Amongst the items for sale are three casts of sculptures from the Parthenon. These comprise Lot 76 – a Metope, Lot 105 – Metope fragments & Lot 169 – Two frieze panels.
This auction is interesting, as museums generally only very rarely deaccession items from their collections. In the case of many British museums, their charters expressly forbid them from doing so. The fact that the items are being sold suggests that they are probably in poor condition now.

Artnet [2]

Art Market Watch
Feb. 27, 2006

After more than 100 years in the Metropolitan Museum collection, nearly 200 19th-century plaster casts of classical sculptures and architectural details go on the block at Sotheby‚Äôs New York on Feb. 28, 2006. On view in a special study gallery at the Met until the 1950s, the casts are now in a state of fashionable dishabille — and are being offered without reserve. Who might want them? Decorators, perhaps, or collectors with an empty hall or two. Among the items are casts from the pediments of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, reliefs from the Parthenon and the Pergamon Altar and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris.