The Elgin Marbles

Old Dec 12th, 2002, 10:15 AM
  #1  
Grasshopper
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The Elgin Marbles

Italy has agreed to loan the small part of the Elgin Marbles it has to Greece for a &quot;long term loan&quot;. Greece is having a fierce debate with the UK over the remaining pieces which are in the British Museum. Greece would at least like to have them for the 2004 Olympics.<BR><BR>What do you think?
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 10:23 AM
  #2  
Jen
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First, a clarification: Not all hthe Elgin marbles are parts of the Parthenon, and not all of the parts of the Parthenon at the British Museum were aqcquired by Elgin. Finally,there are parts from the parthenon in several other countries, as well. The British have always maintained that Elgin made his acquisitions legally. I don't see them backing down from that any time soon.
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 10:45 AM
  #3  
JohnL
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What a can of worms could be opened up if everything in museums were claimed by the country of origination. The British Museum would be emptied of everything Egyptian, etc. I see both sides... I think, though, if the British &quot;loan&quot; them to Greece they will never see them again.
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 11:10 AM
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Sam
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The nation of Greece was established AFTER Elgin acquired his stuff. So why would they have more of a claim to it than the Brits, whose culture is also founded on the great thinkers of ancient Athens?
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 05:43 PM
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xxx
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When Elgin took the marbles, there was a fierce trial and outrage over this. His defense and what was agreed by the Brits were that they would take care of the marbles until Greece was able to properly take care of them. Greece is now able to take care of them, and they should honour their agreement.
 
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 03:06 AM
  #6  
Sheila
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I have little doubt that if they had been left in Athens when Elgin took them, they would have not been with us today.<BR><BR>Equally, the Parthenon today looks bare without them. This year, we visited the Parthenon, and then later in the year, the BM. The marbles are wonderful, but it would be superb to see them in situ.
 
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 03:45 AM
  #7  
Melina
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Even the Greeks who want the stuff back don't propose to put them back onto the Parthenon. Recognizing the environmental risks (the parts that are still on the Parthenon have eroded terribly), the Greeks have repeatedly planned to build a museum to house the originals, with the possiblity of mounting casts in the original site. Misguided restoration attempts in the 1920s and 30s have left the building in a decaying condition that might not even be able to support the original frieze, anyway.<BR><BR>International competitions for the design of a museum to house the Parthenon marbles have been conducted repeatedly -- in 1976, 1979, and 1989. In 1990 an Italian company was awarded the contract, with a planned completion date of 1996. But political arguments ensued, the museum was never even begun, and a new competition was held in 1999. Construction has not yet begun. I don't think the Greeks are ready to get these pieces back yet.<BR><BR>I have never heard any substantiation of xxx's claim that the Brits ever intended to return them. In the 1816 &quot;Local and Personal Acts 56 George III c.99,&quot; the House of Commons determined that Elgin had acquired the marbles legitimately and the British government subsequently purchased them from him and transferred them to the British Museum. The policy of the British Museum is to never make permanent loans nor to deaccession any materials worthy of exhibit
 
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 04:05 AM
  #8  
Athena Parthenos
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The young Scotsman Thomas Bruce, also known as lord Elgin, was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire when he got permission from the Turks to move the marbles and sculptures. He paid 75,000 pounds of his own money to move them to London, where he sold them for only 35,000.<BR>You can see them for free in the British Museum. The Greeks will charge you to see the leftovers, crumbling from pollution, in Athens.
 
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 04:29 AM
  #9  
frank
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The British museum holds them where they can be seen in relation to relics of other ancient civilisations, so they form part of a collection.For this reason I think they should stay.
 
Old Dec 14th, 2002, 03:10 PM
  #10  
xxx
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Elgin did not get permission from the Turks to move the sculptures. He got permission to have access to the site, to have scaffolding and make copies with plaster. Any document that said he could remove them does not exist today, and could never be found. In any case the Turks who had conquered Greece would not have legal rights today to give permission to remove public property with the change of sovernity. Elgin may of paid L75,000 to move them but he shouldn't of been moving them and that money went to the special ship he had made to transport them. One of these ships sank in deep waters near Corfu and thus those marbles were lost and never could be recovered. The marbles that he safely transported were horrible cleaned with copper tools, soap,water and ammonia for display in his Scottish house. Such damages were irreversible. The British Museum paid L35,000 to the cash strapped Elgin, but promised Greece to return them once they freed themselves of the Turkish occupation. The Brits were allies of Greece and the other European occupied countries, not of the Turks.<BR>As for construction, this is planned for construction beginning in June 2003 with a completion date of 2004.
 
Old Dec 14th, 2002, 03:27 PM
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Jen
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xxx, it would be interesting to hear your source of information. I would be especially interested in knowing how Elgin could have gotten the marbles out of thecountry without the cooperation of local authorities. <BR><BR>At that time, Athens and the area now known as Greece had been part of the Ottoman Empire for 350 years. Certainly,the authorities of the time had the legal right to dispose of goods as they saw fit.<BR><BR>It is true that one of the ships sank off Kythera, but at great expense Lord Elgin recovered everything.<BR><BR>Preservation, cleaning, and restoration efforts have indeed damaged the marbles. But still, they are in better condition than the parts that Elgin left behind, which have been subejcted to even worse restoration errors and to air pollution that has dissolved the surfaces of the stones.<BR><BR>It will be interesting to see whether the latest intentions for construction of a museum come to any different result than the many earlier plans, especially with businesses and materials taken up with other preparations and construction for the 2004 Olympics.<BR><BR>The paperwork in which the British promised to return the marbles seems to have been misfiled along with the diplomatic orders that gave Elgin permission to remove them. <BR>
 
Old Dec 14th, 2002, 03:35 PM
  #12  
Sam
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&quot;The British Museum paid L35,000 to the cash strapped Elgin, but promised Greece to return them once they freed themselves of the Turkish occupation.&quot;<BR><BR>Hey, xxx, Greece did not exist at the time. Who, exactly, would Lord Elgin have made this promise TO? The area we now know as Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire, and before that had been part of the Byzantine Empire. Who's in charge here!? ;-)
 
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