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June 6, 2010

Bringing back the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 9:40 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

A new Greek based campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles has been launched recently, called Bring them back“>Bring them Back.

America Blog

Saturday, April 17, 2010
Bring back the Elgin Marbles
by John Aravosis (DC)

Back around 1800, when Greece was still suffering from 400 years of Turkish occupation, the British ambassador, Lord Elgin, got permission from the Turks to remove a good chunk of the Parthenon and bring it back to London, for display in the British Museum. Now that the Turks are gone, the Greeks would like their Parthenon back.

It’s an interesting issue. I can sympathize with the argument that you can’t ask that ever piece of antiquity from everywhere around the world be returned to its nation or origin, or you’d empty every museum in the world. Having said that, how does this story differ from the Nazi’s pilfering the Louvre? While I’m sympathetic to the notion that not every artifact should go home, the Parthenon is a big deal. And taking massive chunks of it during a foreign occupation is, well, tacky. Now that the Greeks have a new modern museum to house the “Elgin Marbles,” the British lose their number one argument – that the antiquities were better preserved in England than in Greece, where they could be better cared for. Not anymore.

Below is a cute video that demonstrates the problem. It’s tied to a Web site called “Bring them back.”