February 23, 2008

National Geographic video on the Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 2:29 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

National Geographic have made a film on the Elgin Marbles controversy as part of their Treasure Wars series. It manages to combine some amazing computer reconstructions (Which I think came from the ones originally produced by Paul Debevec – Its worth looking at the rest of his site if you are interested in finding out more about how the model was created) with a neat summary of some of the arguments from both sides.

Once again though the British Museum manages to include mis-information that they have been corrected on many times in the past – since the statement in 2000 by Pangalos, Greece has set aside the issue of ownership of the sculptures. They also manage to throw in an entirely new argument that I haven’t heard previously, where they imply that polls showing consistently that the majority of people support restitution are irrelevant because they were taken recently (The most recent major poll was in 2004 by the Marbles Reunited campaign). This is a uniquely counterintuitive line of reasoning, as they are implying that if a poll was made now it would probably not show support for reunification – yet in the last four years, there has been a significant shift (both in the UK & internationally) towards allowing restitution in certain cases.

The film can be viewed online here (you may need to install Flash to see it).

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