Parthenon Marbles

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

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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…

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)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 3, 2017 – Update: The Verdict

Who Owns Antiquity?

The National Hellenic Museum Brings Famed Attorneys to Face Off on March 16 at The Art Institute CHICAGO, IL – On March 16, 2017, the public will decide one of the most highly anticipated international cases, The Trial of the Parthenon Marbles. Following the extraordinary success of The Trials of Socrates, Orestes, and Antigone, The National Hellenic Museum will conduct this latest Trial at the Rubloff Auditorium and The Art Institute. There, in a court filled with nationally renowned judges and attorneys, The Trial of the Parthenon Marbles will decide whether these classical Greek marble sculptures should return to Greece or remain in the British Museum.

The Parthenon Marbles, also known as the Elgin Marbles, originally formed much of the exterior decoration of the Parthenon. In the early 1800s, the Ottoman governor of Greece allegedly permitted Lord Elgin to ship them to England. They have been on display at the British Museum for nearly 200 years. Since obtaining independence from the Ottoman Empire, Greece has pressed the United Kingdom for the Marbles’ return, a request that has been refused on the grounds that ownership was properly acquired.

Presiding over the proceedings will be Judges Richard A. Posner and William J. Bauer from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke, US District Judge Charles P. Kocoras and Cook County Circuit Judge Anna H. Demacopoulos.

Greece, looking to regain control of the Parthenon Marbles, will be represented by Daniel K. Webb and Robert A. Clifford, who are expected to argue in court that Lord Elgin obtained the Parthenon Marbles without proper permission and thus lacked title. Supporting their efforts will be Sam Adam, Jr., who will present an expert witness on behalf of Greece. Mr. Adam will also cross examine the British expert.

The British will take issue with the Greek argument. Representing the United Kingdom and the British Museum, Patrick M. Collins and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, are expected to argue not only the validity of Lord Elgin’s possession of the Marbles, but the equity of British Museum’s continued ownership insofar is it came into possession of the Marbles in good faith. Tinos Diamantatos will present an expert witness on behalf of the British side and will cross examine the Greek expert.

Cast your vote for whether the Marbles should return or remain at The Trial of the Parthenon Marbles on March 16 at The Art Institute – Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S Columbus Dr., Chicago, IL 60603. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the trial begins at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $100 per person and are available for purchase at http://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/the-trial, contact Francesca Peppiatt at (312) 655-1234, ext. 21, or purchase in person at the National Hellenic Museum’s gift shop.

Judges:

  • The Honorable William J. Bauer, Judge for the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • The Honorable Richard A. Posner, Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • The Honorable Anna H. Demacopoulos, Circuit Court of Cook County
  • The Honorable Anne M. Burke, Illinois Supreme Court.
  • The Honorable Charles P. Kocoras, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois

Attorneys:

  • Robert A. Clifford, Founder & Senior Partner, of Clifford Law Offices and past president of the Chicago Bar Association
  • Patrick M. Collins, Partner, Perkins Coie, former First Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Patrick J. Fitzgerald, Litigation Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, former U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Dan K. Webb, Chairman, Winston & Strawn, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Sam Adam Jr., founder Sam Adam Junior Law Group
  • Tinos Diamantatos, partner, Morgan Lewis

# # #

The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) portrays and celebrates Greek heritage and the Hellenic legacy. With a rich depository of over 20,000 artifacts, the Museum highlights the contributions of Greeks and Greek-Americans to the American mosaic and inspires curiosity about visitors’ own family journeys though cultural expression, oral history and experiential education. Located in Chicago’s Greektown, the Museum provides lifelong learning for the whole community through classes, exhibitions and programs that spark inquiry and discussion about the broader issues in our lives.

For more information, visit http://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org

  • Media Contact: Marina Christos Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator
  • National Hellenic Museum:
    • 333 South Halsted Street Chicago, IL 60661
    • Office: 312.655.1234 ext. 27
  • Email: mchristos@hellenicmuseum.org

Source NHM: See full Press Release PDF

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