June 19, 2008

The Liverpool Echo versus Stelios

Posted at 10:41 am in Elgin Marbles

For reasons that are unclear, certain journalists at the Liverpool Echo have take huge objection to Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s involvement with the campaign for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. As in the previous criticisms though, the story seems to be getting in the way of the facts.

Even at the time of Elgin’s acquisition of the sculptures, debates in parliament made it very clear, that people were not convinced that his conduct had been all legal & above board.

Liverpool Echo

easyFacts for Stelios
Jun 19 2008 by Joe Riley, Liverpool Echo
IS it a bird? Is it a plane?

No. Just easyJet founder Sir Stelios attempting an emergency landing over the future of the Elgin Marbles, sculptures from the Parthenon in Athens which Greece wants returning from London.

In January, I revealed how Stelios, worth £725m (with a little help from the wallets and purses of passengers at JLA) was backing the campaign by sponsoring a Cambridge University debate.

After which the Greek Cypriot tycoon told ECHO readers that the support was coming from one of his companies, easyCruise.

I countered that anything easyCruise signs up to has Stelios’s name written all over it.

Stel then put up and shut up until this week, when he launched an advertising campaign to open up the Marbles “reuniting” debate.

So there we are. I was right in the first place.

I was also correct in saying that in 1802, the seventh Earl of Elgin, ex-ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, salvaged the 2,500-year- old sculptures, which had been vandalised by Christians and Muslims.

He then bought them from the uninterested Turks and sold them to the British government.

All legal and above board.

So much for the usual “greatest theft in history” nonsense.

The sculptures now occupy an entire floor at the British Museum, where they should stay.

Disbanding this or any other historic collection to pacify governments wanting to re-write history, or individuals with big cheque books is not an option.

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