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Can the Parthenon Sculptures be compared to the Bayeux tapestry?

John Huntley, follows my line of reasoning [1], in suggesting that any comparisons drawn between the Elgin Marbles & the Bayeux Tapestry are at best very weak. Comparing one case to another, misleads the public by distracting attention from the key issues behind each of the arguments.

The Scotsman [2]

30 June 2008
Losing your marbles

It is inappropriate to make comparisons between the Parthenon Marbles and the “Bayeux” Tapestry (your report, 25 June). The Parthenon Marbles were removed from the Acropolis in Athens by Lord Elgin in circumstances of doubtful legality. Regardless of where the Bayeux Tapestry was created and by whom, there is no dispute that it is lawfully located in Bayeux (a Normandy possession of the Norman Kings of England).

Whereas there is a real dispute over legal ownership of the Parthenon Marbles, the issue over the Bayeux Tapestry is simply where it would be most appropriately displayed, however temporarily. Thus it is reasonable to speak of the “Bayeux” Tapestry, but inappropriate to speak of the “Elgin” Marbles, rather than the “Parthenon” Marbles while their legal ownership remains unclear.

It is easy to understand why such a cultural artefact as the tapestry should be displayed in England for the English people; less understandable is the insistence of the British Museum on retaining possession of the Parthenon Marbles when its justification for doing so hangs by a thread – a tatty one at that.

Rubislaw Drive
Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire

The full article contains 191 words and appears in The Scotsman newspaper.

* Last Updated: 30 June 2008 9:33 PM
* Source: The Scotsman
* Location: Edinburgh