Showing 3 results for the tag: Richard Dorment.

August 28, 2009

The New Acropolis Museum raises the bar on cultural morality

Posted at 1:07 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Father Steven Scoutas from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has written detailed & pragmatic account of his own visit to the New Acropolis Museum, partly as a response to the very negative article on the Elgin Marbles by Richard Dorment in the Daily Telegraph.

Greek Australian Vema

Greek Australian Vema, August, 2009
The New Acropolis Museum – Raising the bar on cultural morality

After reading Richard Dorment’s tirade on the new Acropolis Museum “The Elgin Marbles will never return to Athens – the British Museum is their rightful home” (Daily Telegraph, London, 30th June 2009), I thought to myself “Wow, I hope he hasn’t bet his house on this”.

I was neither surprised nor angered by his article. Just disappointed. Not by his regurgitation of the now desperately outmoded stance of the British Museum, but that this otherwise distinguished journalist and chief art-critic of the London Telegraph would turn clairvoyant to back up a story. Surely the future is a phase of time which remains unpredictable, even to contemporary ‘Delphian’ oracles.
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July 1, 2009

Why should the Greeks build a statue of Lord Elgin in Athens?

Posted at 1:07 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, International Association, New Acropolis Museum

Richard Dorment’s article in the Daily Telegraph unsurprisingly provoked many angry responses on the newspaper’s comments page. Not least, were the claims that the sculptures have been, & would continue to be, better displayed & looked after in the British Museum than in the New Acropolis Museum.

London Daily News

01 July, 2009 12:03 (GMT +01:00)
“Greeks should build a statue to Lord Elgin in Athens”, Telegraph editorial
International News

In what is becoming an increasingly protracted debate, the issue of the reunification of the stolen marbles of the Parthenon took a new dynamic with a highly provocative editorial by Richard Dorment the arts editor of the Daily Telegraph calling for the Greeks to “erect a statue of Lord Elgin near the Parthenon to express their nation’s gratitude to him for saving the marbles”.

Ironically an extensive report published in 1999 by world archeological experts found that the “Elgin marbles” morphology had suffered as a result of the “misguided efforts to make them whiter than white”. The report went onto to say :
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June 30, 2009

Spurious arguments about the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 8:33 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The author of this article from the Daily Telegraph clearly seen no reason to congratulate the Greeks on the opening of the New Acropolis Museum. Instead, there arguments fall back on old tired incorrect statements about the Parthenon Sculptures.

To correct a few of the most heinous inaccuracies.

  1. Far more than one or two British journalists have written positive articles having seen the New Acropolis Museum – in some cases those who previously objected strongly to the return of the Parthenon Marbles. Whether or not these trips were subsidised is irrelevant – some journalists have a level of integrity that the author of this piece clearly does not understand.
  2. Elgin paid only very small amounts to acquire the Elgin Marbles – most of the cost was in shipping them back to Britain once they had been removed.
  3. As Lord Elgin’s acquisition of the Marbls had dubious legal standing, then it follows that this liability is passed on to Parliament when they purchased the artefacts
  4. The British Government purchased the Marbles through an Acto of Parliament – if there as the political will to do so, then returning them using a similar method should not present a major challenge
  5. Lord Elgin did not act to save the Marbles – from letters he sent, it is clear that his original intention was to use them as decoration on his new home that was being built at Broomhall
  6. It is unclear to anyone apart from the British Museum why the number of visitors who see something & the cost that they pay to see it should be the two most important factors in deciding an artefacts location. These facts are regularly stated, but I have never seen any real justification behind them to suggest how they actually back up the argument for restitution in any way.

These are but a few of the errors.

For a major newspaper to publish an article so full of inaccuracies merely damages its own reputation.

Daily Telegraph

The Elgin Marbles will never return to Athens – the British Museum is their rightful home
The Greeks should erect a statue of Lord Elgin near the Parthenon to express their nation’s gratitude to him for saving the Marbles.
By Richard Dorment
Published: 4:39PM BST 30 Jun 2009

Having built this new museum for the Elgin Marbles, the Greeks have managed to rustle up one or two British journalists credulous or naïve enough to write articles calling for their return. But if anyone thinks the building is ever going to house anything other than the plaster casts that are on display there now, they are hopelessly out of touch with reality. There is virtually no chance that the director or trustees of the British Museum, now or in the future, will comply with this outlandish demand.

Let’s review the facts. Lord Elgin paid the enormous sum of £39,000 to acquire the marbles, and was careful to obtain documents from the Turkish Government approving their removal from Greece, which had then been part of the Ottoman Empire for 350 years. Since Parliament legally purchased the marbles from Lord Elgin in 1816, the British Museum’s title to them is unassailable. The Greeks know this perfectly well – otherwise, instead of pulling this PR stunt, they would be suing Britain in the European courts.
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