Parthenon Marbles

Hellenic Electronic Center (HEC) For the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

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 “The UK withdrawal from Unesco would be historical and cultural vandalism. The international development secretary Penny Mordaunt is shamefully following the US down a road to isolationism” [The Guardian]

 About the US withdrawal, Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova said: “At the time when conflicts continue to tear apart societies across the world, it is deeply regrettable for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations agency promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack. This is a loss to the United Nations family. This is a loss for multilateralism.” [ full statement. ]

Why the US withdrawal from UNESCO is a step backwards for global cultural cooperation – [The Conversation]

This UK action is of great significance as “it was British politicians such as Rab Butler who helped develop the concept of Unesco, a conference in London in 1945 that framed its constitution, a British scientist who became its first director-general, and a Labour prime minister – Clement Attlee – who came up with the words that summed up its mission. “Since wars begin in the minds of men,” he wrote in the preamble to the new agency’s constitution, “it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.” That was the thinking of a generation shattered by the second world war, desperate to create the global institutions that would not just prevent any repeat but for ever stop the nationalist forces of hatred, division and prejudice from rising again.” [ Emily Thornberry – The Guardian]
It should be noted, The Acropolis and its masterpieces including the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheum, the Temple of Athena Nike, etc. is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

 

 

 

 


 

These actions are nothing less but Looting of artifacts, and the ones who removing them from their place of origins are thieves.

 “It’s a matter of principle, similar to the Elgin Marbles,” Fareed Yasseen, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States, tells NPR.

“The (Parthenon) Elgin Marbles are marble sculptures that stood in the Acropolis of Athens in ancient Greece. They were removed and shipped to Britain in the early 1800s, while Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire.”

And the “excuse” of the thieves is:

“The provenance of the Assyrian relief provides a glimpse into the freewheeling world of archaeology in the 19th century, when English archaeologist Austen Henry Layard was given permission by the Ottoman sultan to excavate Nimrud and ship off whatever he found to patrons and friends.”

All these sound very familiar!

See full article published by the National Public Radio (NPR) Record-Setting Sale Of An Ancient Assyrian Stone Relief Sparks Looting Fears In Iraq


 

Easter Islanders Ask British Museum to Return Sacred Statue, Offering Replica in Return

The Rapa Nui community has offered a basalt replica of the eight-foot, four-ton sculpture called Hoa Hakananai’a, which was stolen in 1868.

 “The eight-foot-tall Moai sculpture at the British Museum is called Hoa Hakananai’a, which translates to “the stolen or hidden friend.” This name is fitting, since the four-ton statue was stolen from the island in 1868 by Royal Navy captain Richard Powell, and presented as a gift to Queen Victoria. She donated it to the national museum in London in 1869.”

“As reported by Agence France-Presse, Easter Island’s Ma’u Henna community, with support from the Chilean government, has offered to swap out the original piece at the British Museum for a replica…”

It is time for the British Museum to act in good faith, recognize the illegal acquisitions of artifacts and return them to their origins.

See full articles:  The GuardianArtDaily.org | Hyperallergic art forum |  PDF.

Sources: Above links and article by: Sarah Rose Sharp

 

Ήρθε η ώρα οι νέοι από όλον τον κόσμο, να ενώσουμε τα χέρια για τη επιστροφή των Γλυπτών του Παρθενώνα στην Ελλάδα. Πάρτε θέση να πάρουν τη θέση τους…

The time has come for all young people around the world to join hands for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures back to Greece. Do your part to be replaced where they belong…

A well done video (in Greek with English subtitles), parallelism of Parthenon Marbles (Sculptures) with Big Ben.

Now is the time to offer to return them, as part of the Brexit deal

Geoffrey Robertson just wrote an opinion in the guardian, pushing for the return of the Parthenon artifacts.

Mr. Robertson writes:
Reuniting the marbles is a cultural imperative, not so much for Greece (its current citizens are of doubtful descent from Pericles) as for Europe. United, they will stand as a unique representation of the beginnings of civilised life in Europe, 2,500 years ago. It will be like putting together a photograph long torn in half, recording people walking and talking, playing and (particularly) drinking. United in the custom-built modern museum beneath the Parthenon, the marbles will be the greatest artistic and architectural treasure on the continent.

There is no doubt that they were stolen. Elgin’s licence to remove “stones” specifically prohibited him from pulling down the superstructure of the building to rip off the metopes and sculptures. Before a parliamentary committee he lied outrageously, pretending to have acted only when he saw with his own eyes how they were being despoiled by the Turks.

This was a demonstrable falsehood, because he did not arrive in Athens until most of the marbles had been torn down by his workmen for his own profit, in breach of his duty as British ambassador. They are now vested by the 1963 British Museum Act in the trustees of the institution. But parliament can unvest them, by a simple amendment or a line in the big Brexit bill, and send them back to Athens as part of our final deal with Europe”

Source: the guardian (complete article)

Stolen Antiquities Returned from Munich Arrive at National Archaeological Museum in Athens

National Archaeological Museum Athens

Eight crates containing 33 archaeological artifacts and 600 coins, including some ancient masterpieces dating to the 12th and 13th centuries B.C., arrived at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens from Munich on Friday.

The crates full of archaeological treasures were transported to the museum with great secrecy and opened in the museum amphitheatre in the presence of Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou, with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency invited to record the opening of the crates as the museum curators took delivery.

The remarkable finds, most in very good condition, included amphorae, bird-shaped vases, a pottery statue of a chariot driver and two riders and other small objects, most of which were possibly grave goods taken from the northwestern Peloponnese.

“Today, this is a special, touching and very important moment. What you feel from the expressions of the archaeologists and curators, the joy on their face every time the very important finds are unveiled one by one,” said Koniordou. Their return from Munich, where they were taken illegally, was “truly touching,” the minister added, noting that it was a huge success for Greek and German law enforcement agencies, which had cooperated seamlessly in a joint effort to which the Greek general consul in Munich had also contributed greatly.

The minister said that the 33 objects dated to the late Bronze age, had very interesting shapes and patterns, while most appeared to come from the same pottery workshop. There were also small objects from the Geometric period that were “real masterpieces” and 600 coins, she said.

“It is a non-negotiable principle of the Greek state to combat illegal antiquities smuggling and protect cultural heritage by any means. It is our desire that these illegally acquired ancient treasures should return to the areas from which they were stolen. We are already discussing how specific antiquities will be presented at the best time and in the best way to the public,” Koniordou said.

The finds linked to an international ring of illegal antiquities traders dismantled in Patras last October have been transferred to museum conservation workshops, while a committee has been set up to assess their authenticity and value.

(Sources: ANA-MPA & The Greek Reporter)

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