June 15, 2008

Stelios’s plan for the Marbles

Posted at 10:20 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

More coverage of Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s proposed advertising campaign in the British Press, aimed at encouraging the reunification of the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum.

Scotland on Sunday

EasyJet founder gets Elgin marbles campaign rolling
Published Date: 15 June 2008
By Liz Longden

THE multi-millionaire founder of easyJet, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is set to launch a personal campaign for the reuniting of the Elgin marbles.
The controversial marble sculptures, which have been at the centre of a diplomatic dispute between Britain and Greece for decades, are split between the British Museum in London and the New Acropolis Museum in Athens.

However, the Greek-Cypriot entrepreneur will take out full-page adverts in a number of British newspapers this week to argue the case for keeping the artworks in a single collection.

An open letter reads: “I think the time has come for the curators of the two museums to come to have a constructive dialogue.

“Away from the politics and name-calling, I feel there is now a win-win situation for both museums in the form of a cultural exchange. Therefore, art lovers worldwide might get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these masterpieces reunited.”

As part of his campaign, Haji-Ioannou also plans to arrange for a ship to sail around Greece later in the year with the words ‘Reunite the Parthenon Marbles’ emblazoned on it.

The marbles adorned the interior of the Ancient Greek Parthenon in Athens, but a significant number were taken by Fife-born Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, in 1801.

Although the removal was controversial even at the time, and was attacked by many of his contemporaries in Britain, the marbles were purchased in 1816 by the British Museum, where they remain to this day.

A new museum to house the remaining marbles has been built in Athens, just 280m from the Parthenon, and many feel that the Elgin marbles should now be returned to Greece.

The full article contains 291 words and appears in Scotland On Sunday newspaper.
Page 1 of 1

* Last Updated: 14 June 2008 7:34 PM
* Source: Scotland On Sunday
* Location: Scotland

The Sunday Times

From The Sunday Times
June 15, 2008
Roland White


Stelios hopes his Elgin idea will take off at the British Museum

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of easyJet, is calling for talks that could take the British Museum’s Elgin marbles back to Athens.

The artefacts have been a sore point between Greece and Britain ever since Lord Elgin, ambassador to the Ottoman empire, removed them from the Parthenon frieze for restoration in the early 19th century. But now other Parthenon decorations are on display at a new museum in Athens, Sir Stelios says: “I feel now there is a win-win solution for both museums in the form of a cultural exchange.”

So why not a cut-price, no-frills exhibition that everybody could enjoy? We could call it EasyMarble.


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