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

 

Elgin, the vandal and the thief, removed and stole: 247 feet—just under half—of the total friezes(1), 15 metopes(2), 17 pediment(3), and various pieces of architecture figures from the Parthenon. In addition, removed and stole one of the caryatids (female sculptures) from the nearby portico of the Erechtheion, 4 fragments from the frieze of the temple to Athena Nike, and architectural members from the Propylaia.

He did so by “claiming” that he had permission by a Turkish firman. The truth is, as National Geographic writes:
“…Despite the ambiguity of the language in the firman, the landmark 1967 study by British historian William St. Clair, Lord Elgin and the Marbles,concludes that the sultan did not allow the removal and export of statues and reliefs from the Parthenon. A clause authorizing the British to take stones “with old inscriptions and figures” probably referred to items found in the excavations conducted on the site, not artworks adorning the temples….”

How the Parthenon Lost Its Marbles – National Geographic HISTORY MAGAZINE
In 1801 Elgin stripped the Parthenon of many of its sculptures and took them to England. The Parthenon had withstood centuries of abuse from outsiders when the thief Elgin removed its remaining sculptures in the early 1800s.Read the history at National Geographic HISTORY MAGAZINE

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)

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