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Official respose to Select Committee enquiry

The official response by the Government to the DCMS Select Committee Enquiry [1] “Caring for Our Collections”, has just been released. Regarding the case of the Elgin Marbles, it (predictably) agrees with the comments by the committee.

British Parliament website [2]


22. Parthenon marbles We were moved by the passion expressed by our Greek hosts and we acknowledge the special place which the Parthenon holds in the Greek national identity. We recognise the strength of feeling both for and against returning the Elgin Marbles. However, we note that it is not proposed to restore the Parthenon to its original glory, bringing together all the fragmented parts, wherever they might now be. We congratulate the British Museum on their efforts to ensure that the Marbles are accessible to both the public and researchers from around the world. We also recognise their argument that the display of the Marbles in the Museum adds to the understanding of the influence and spread of culture between civilisations. We note that the British Museum has made casts of the sculptures available to the Acropolis Museum and are disappointed that it appears that visitors to the Acropolis and its new museum will not be able to enjoy these. We note that the decision as to whether the originals should be returned remains one for the Trustees of the British Museum.

We very much welcome the Committee’s balanced view on the issue of the Parthenon Sculptures and agree that this matter is the responsibility of the Trustees of the British Museum.