January 13, 2004

New Parthenon Marbles reunification campaign due to launch

Posted at 1:49 pm in Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

The Marbles Reunited campaign is due to launch in London in the next few days.

The Scotsman

Mon 12 Jan 2004
Shea’s sympathy for William and Harry
Edited by Edward Black


It’s all Greek – unless you’ve lost your marbles

AN ADMIRABLE campaign to reunite the marble sculptures removed from Greece by Lord Elgin over 200 years ago is currently passing through Edinburgh in the shape of a virtual exhibition at the Dundas Street Gallery.

The display was organised by British campaigners who believe that the Elgin Marbles, housed at the British Museum, in London, should be returned to the Acropolis Museum, in Athens, especially as it hosts the 2004 Olympics. The reconstruction, called Marbles Reunited, shows the marbles in London in colour while those in Athens, where they adorned the temple of Athena 2,500 years ago, are in white.

“There has been a misconception in Britain that the entirety of the collection is in the British Museum,” said Freddie New, of the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles campaign group, over a glass of white wine during his fleeting visit to the Athens of the North.

“We propose that rather than looking at this issue from an ownership point of view, they should be seen as a single art work that should be reunited.

“Later this year, the new Acropolis Museum will open, looking upon the Parthenon itself, where the sculptures came from, making it ideal to house both sets of sculptures.”

Also holding court was the consul general of Greece, with possibly one of the longest names on the canapé circuit – Mrs Melpo Papaioannou Plevri – just back from a seasonal break home in Athens.

The venture also has the blessing of SNP MSP Alasdair Morgan in his capacity as convener of the enterprise and culture committee.

“This exhibition really highlights the idiocy of the situation we’ve arrived at,” he said, munching on a delicious-looking avocado and sun-dried tomato treat.

Even the younger generation took a keen eye in proceedings, with Anna Carbery soaking up the historical information on display which runs until 17 January.

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