Parthenon Marbles

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

Browsing Posts published in April, 2017

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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