Parthenon Marbles

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

Stephen Fry offers Britain graceful solution for return of the Parthenon Marbles during the Intelligence Squared conference debate “The Parthenon Marbles Should be Returned to Athens” on Monday June 11, 2012 at Cadogan Hall.
He concludes by saying “We will never ever be able to repay the debt we owe Greece.”

A must watch 6 minutes video:

You can also watch the full 46 minute debate here: Intelligence Squared debate at Cadogan Hall.

Stephen’s analogy to the argument below was “If your house is on fire and you as a neighbor store the neighbor’s paintings in your garage for some time does it make them yours? Will you return them when the neighbor asks you for them?

Speakers against the motion: “What’s all this nonsense about sending the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece? If Lord Elgin hadn’t rescued them from the Parthenon in Athens and presented them to the British Museum almost 200 years ago, these exquisite sculptures – the finest embodiment of the classical ideal of beauty and harmony – would have been lost to the ravages of pollution and time. So we have every right to keep them: indeed, returning them would set a dangerous precedent, setting off a clamour for every Egyptian mummy and Grecian urn to be wrenched from the world’s museums and sent back to its country of origin. It is great institutions like the British Museum that have established such artefacts as items of world significance: more people see the Marbles in the BM than visit Athens every year. Why send them back to relative obscurity?”

“But aren’t such arguments a little too imperialistic? All this talk of visitor numbers and dangerous precedents – doesn’t it just sound like an excuse for Britain to hold on to dubiously acquired treasures that were removed without the consent of the Greek people to whom they culturally and historically belong? That’s what Lord Byron thought, and now Stephen Fry is taking up the cause. We should return the Marbles as a gesture of solidarity with Greece in its financial distress, says Fry, and as a mark of respect for the cradle of democracy and the birthplace of rational thought.”


Chair: Zeinab Badawi BBC World News presenter
Speakers for the motion: Andrew George Chair of Marbles Reunite, Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives
Stephen Fry Actor, writer, comedian, and broadcaster
Speakers against the motion: Felipe Fernández-Armesto William P Reynolds Professor of History, the University of Notre Dame
Tristram Hunt Broadcaster, historian and newspaper columnist; Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central

The rider with the restless horse at the center of the west frieze

Acropolis Museum fourth birthday

Thursday, 20 June, 2013
On Thursday 20 June 2013, the Acropolis Museum celebrates its fourth birthday. The exhibition areas will remain open from 8 a.m. until 12 midnight. The restaurant will be open during the same hours. On this occasion, admission will be reduced (3 euros) for all visitors.
Visitors will have the opportunity to discover, together with Museum Archaeologist-Hosts, untold stories of the surviving blocks of the frieze, with the aid of 3D presentations on special screens installed in the Parthenon Gallery.
Participation is limited to 20 visitors per session on a first-in first-served basis. For registration details, please refer to the Information Desk at the Museum entrance.
Gallery Talks in Greek: 11 a.m., 12 noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m.
Gallery Talks in English: 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m.
Gallery Talks in French: 12:30 p.m.
At 9 p.m., the Athens Municipality Philharmonic Orchestra will present a musical concert in the Museum’s entrance courtyard with famous melodies of the world band repertoire. See the music program
In addition, the Museum will commence the exclusive production of copies of two exhibits, the head of Poseidon and the head of Artemis from the east frieze of the Parthenon, available in the Museum Shops.

For more information, visit the Acropolis Museum

Parthenon Marbles and Koh-i-Noor: Cameron opposes ‘returnism’

BBC News – by Trevor Timpson
“The prime minister has been criticised after he opposed calls to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece and the Koh-i-Noor diamond to India…”
Full article and several links at BBC

Related responses:

A talk in London about whether the British Museum should return the sculptures was screened live to an audience in Athens.
They came in their Athenian finery, filing patiently into the low-lit auditorium and waiting to hear a message of hope. Its deliverer: a man who until recently was unknown to them but who is now regarded as something of a hero; a saviour of the Greek people in the face of foreign meddling and arrogance; a man who has come to their rescue in troubled times to fight for Hellenic pride…

The Guardian – Read Full Article

Stephen Fry’s Parthenon Marbles plea backed in debate vote
By Trevor Timpson BBC News

“A call backed by actor Stephen Fry for the return to Greece of the British Museum’s Parthenon Marbles has come out on top in a debate held in London. Fry said it would be a “classy” move to restore the sculptures brought to the UK by Lord Elgin in the 19th Century.

The debate, hosted by Intelligence Squared, ended with a majority for the motion of 384 to 125.

Opposing the motion, Tristram Hunt MP said the British Museum played a key role in cosmopolitan culture.

The Greeks were a proud people suffering terribly, Stephen Fry told the audience in London’s Cadogan Hall, but “no matter how much the sovereign debt crisis means they owe us, we will never repay the debt that we owe Greece.”…

Read Full Article at BBC

Newsletter of the Marbles Reunited Campaign
A Last Farewell, A tribute to Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011
PDF view/download



19-20 JUNE 2012


This conference will be presented jointly by:

It is timed to coincide with the anniversary of the opening of the Acropolis Museum ( and the occasion of the London Olympics which will start one month later.

Venue: London Hellenic Centre
Duration: 2 days (19 – 20 June 2012)
Entrance Fee: £79 (includes refreshments throughout day one and lunch)


    Day One: Tuesday 19 June 2012
  • Presentations by speakers from the UK, Greece, Australia, USA and elsewhere. Themes will include legal issues relating to the reunification of the marbles and the concept of the “universal museum”.
  • There will also be an optional conference dinner (chargeable separately) with a distinguished guest speaker in the evening of day one.
    Day Two: Wednesday 20 June 2012
  • Organised attendance at the British Museum.
  • “Missing” campaign to be launched.

Further details including application forms will be published shortly. In the meantime those who may be interested in attending may wish to note the dates in their diaries and/or contact:

Eddie O’Hara
Chairman, British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

Would all secretaries and others with lists of contacts, websites and other means of onward transmission please assist in disseminating this notice.

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