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November 7, 2012

The Parthenon Marbles & cultural justice

Posted at 2:23 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Derek Fincham of the South Texas College of Law may be better known to some readers of this website as the author of the Illicit Cultural Property blog.

In a recently published paper, he looks at a series of principles that the British Museum & Greece could use together to secure a just return of the sculptures.

You can download the full paper at the page below, or with this link.

Social Science Research Network

The Parthenon Sculptures and Cultural Justice
Derek Fincham
South Texas College of Law
August 18, 2012

From government and philosophy to art drama and culture, the ancient Athenians, as most everyone knows, gave future generations so much. Yet the pinnacle of their artistic achievement, the Parthenon, remains a damaged and incomplete work of art. 2012 marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the last removal of works of art from the Parthenon. That taking was ordered by an English diplomat known to history as Lord Elgin, and it reminds us that cultures create lasting monuments. But not equally. Cultures which remove the artistic achievements of other nations have increasingly been confronted with uncomfortable questions about how these objects were acquired. Nations of origin are increasingly deciding to press claims for repatriation of works taken long ago. They proceed through history mindful of the irresistible genius of their forebears have created and are unwilling to cease their calls for return.
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