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On this day 200 years ago

In the modern history of the Parthenon Marbles, 2016 was the year in which the British Government agreed to acquire them from Lord Elgin in exchange for paying off some of his debts.

June 7th 1816 was a particularly important date, as this was the day of the Parliamentary debate that led to the acquisition of the sculptures. In effect, it was the day the the British Government agreed to the purchase.

Today is also a reminder that requests of the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles are not new. During the original parliamentary debate, Hugh Hammersley MP suggested the amendment to the Act that: “…Great Britain holds these Marbles only in trust till they are demanded by the present, or any future possessors of the city of Athens; and upon such demand, engages without question or negotiation, to restore them, as far as can be effected, to the places from where they were taken, and that they shall be in the mean time carefully preserved in the British Museum…”

You can read more about what happened to the Marbles in 1816 here [1].