Parthenon marble, located in British Museum continue to be at the forefront of the ongoing debate about the repatriation of art. Following reports of a series of “secret” meetings regarding the sculptures, the UK government has confirmed there will be no changes to the law to facilitate their return to Greece.
Made between 447 and 432 BC. e. under the direction of the sculptor Phidias and his assistants, the marble from the British Museum collection is displayed in the purpose-built Douvin Gallery, once adorning the Parthenon atop the Athenian Acropolis. They consist of 15 metopes (sculptural relief panels), 17 pediment figures, and 247 feet of original frieze. The sculptures depict impressive battle scenes and festive processions, as well as reclining gods.
In total, the British Museum’s collection represents half of the Parthenon’s surviving sculptures.
RARE CIVIL WAR AND WWI MILITARY ITEMS BY TIFFANY & CO. GO TO AUCTION IN ILLINOIS
On Saturday, the Greek newspaper Ta Nea reported that from November 2021, the chairman of the British Museum, George Osborne, held a series of “secret” discussions about the return of the marble with the elder Greek government officials, including Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Mitsotakis and Osborne last met last week and insiders say talks are at an “advanced stage”.
Greece has long maintained that the marble was stolen and campaigned for its repatriation. On the other hand, the British Museum, together with the British government, asserted its right to own and display them.
It is about the actions of Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 19th century. With permission, Elgin removed the sculptures and later sold them to the British government in 1816.
Actions of Elgin were investigated by a Parliamentary Select Committee in 1816 and found to be perfectly legitimate before the sculptures entered the British Museum collection by Act of Parliament. Arguments against the legality of Elgin’s actions have since centered on the original authorization – namely, whether the Ottomans specifically authorized the removal of the sculptures and whether they had the authority to do so in the first place.
CELTIC GOLD COINS STOLEN FROM GERMAN MUSEUM IN SCOPED ROBBERY
The Greek government made its first official request decades ago, but for the first time in many years, uniting the Parthenon marbles in Athens’ purpose-built Acropolis Museum looks like a real possibility.
At an event at the London School of Economics last week, Mitsotakis explained that progress was being made towards a “win-win solution” for both sides. “I really feel the momentum,” Mitsotakis added.
Spokesman for the Prime Minister of Great Britain Rishi Sunak told reporters that while the trustees were free to speak to anyone, the UK government “has no plans to change the law which prohibits the removal of objects from the British Museum’s collection, except in certain circumstances”.
MYSTERIOUS WRECKS OF FLORIDA BEACH DISCOVERED BY HURRICANE NICOLE, TOP 19TH CENTURY SHIPWRECK.
According to the British Museum Act 1963, objects can only be removed if they are “duplicates” or if “the object is unsuitable for retention in the museum’s collections and can be disposed of without prejudice to the interests of students”.
The British Museum responded to the reports on Monday.
“We are looking for new, positive, long-term partnerships with countries and communities around the world, and that certainly includes Greece,” it said.
The museum still intends to operate within the law, explaining that it will not dismantle its collection “because it tells the unique story of our shared humanity.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS PROGRAM
A compromise could see marble shared between the two countries.
However, former British Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw explained to Ta Nea: “I don’t think anyone seriously thinks that if the marble comes back [to Athens] they will not return forever.’