March 22, 2012

Reuniting the marbles in the wrong place

Posted at 8:44 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

A ridiculous proposal (I know its intended as part of a humorous article – but unfortunately, it is not that far from the xenophobic approach advocated by certain sectors of the British Press too), that reuniting all of the Parthenon Marbles in London (I.e. shipping the ones in the New Acropolis Museum over to the UK), is the best possible proposal for a way forward.

Daily Telegraph

Welcome to misery tourism – a Gap Yah for Lefties
By Damian Thompson Politics Last updated: October 28th, 2011


I’ve never been moved by the Elgin Marbles, despite their grand setting in the British Museum. If they were all in one piece, they’d be breathtaking, but those missing heads spoil it for me.

On the other hand, I’ve always enjoyed the fits of self-righteous rage that our ownership of the marbles has provoked in modern Greeks. First, I’ve never believed that they’re the descendants of the people who carved the marbles. Second, I’ve never trusted Greek assurances that they’d look after them. At any rate, the whole debate is now academic. Far from returning the marbles, perhaps this is the time to take the whole Parthenon off their hands in return for our contribution to the bail-out. Think how splendid it would look in the middle of Bloomsbury.


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