Parthenon Marbles

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

Gloomy setting at British Museum

Dame Janet Suzman, chair of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon marbles and actress in an article on Saturday to Nea newspaper answers to the director of the British Museum.

“I am neither an intellect nor an academic. My position in the committee is of a simple visitor of the museum and as a visitor I can see clearly that the Marbles are in the wrong place. They need Attica’s sun to shine on them with background the blue sky. They ask to be reunited with their other half at the New Acropolis Museum where a place is always waiting for them” said Suzman in her article.

“They must be displayed in front of the Parthenon which continues to stand up. They must see this place in order I, the visitor to be able to turn my head and cry “Now I can see it, that’s from where they come from! Not any more dim light, no more orphan sculptures. They must be reunited with the other half of the pediment that is in this magnificent museum in order I, the visitor, to be able to understand the silent discussion that is held between them” she added.

Referring to British Museum director Hartwig Fischer statements that the “museum will not return the marbles permanently to Greece” she commented “I do not trust the terminology of the art historian and of the art directors when they arrogantly refer to ‘creative actions’ implying that the Marbles acquire another, equally important, nature when they are violently deprived from their siblings”.

However, she acknowledged that the director “is forced to speak diplomatically” and attacked the Museum’s custodians that “obviously as complacent-crypto-imperialists do not examine something that is fair and right”.

Concluding, Suzman quoted another member of the Committee (Alexi Kaye Campbell) “Asking for something back of huge significance which has been taken from you when you were under foreign occupation is a demand for simple justice”.

Source: Athens News Agency – Macedonian Press Agency (ANA-MPA) [Αθηναϊκό Μακεδονικό Πρακτορείο Ειδήσεων]
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Central Archaeological Council (CAC) has recalled the permit for the 9-story building that hides the view of the Acropolis, after the outbursts of the citizens.
Initially, the CAC had given permission for the erection of the building back in September 2018. However, according to the suggestion of the Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities Directorate, it was found that the building (about 32 m high) would cause visual obstruction to the Acropolis monuments, and would affects the surrounding environment.

The CAC decision is somewhat delayed since the skeleton of the building has already been erected! Now we will see what measures will be taken for the  demolition of  the building.

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To Κεντρικό Αρχαιολογικό Συμβούλιο (ΚΑΣ) ανακάλεσε την άδεια του 9ώροφου κτιρίου που κρύβει την Ακρόπολη, μετά από τις κατακραυγές του κόσμου.
Αρχικώς, το ΚΑΣ είχε δώσει την άδεια ανέγερσης τον Σεπτέμβριο του 2018, αλλά σύμφωνα με την εισήγηση της διεύθυνσης των Προϊστορικών και Κλασικών Αρχαιοτήτων, διαπιστώθηκε ότι το κτίριο (ύψους περίπου 32 μ.), θα προκαλέσει οπτική βλάβη στα μνημεία της Ακρόπολης, και θα θίγει το γύρω περιβάλλον.

Η απόφαση του ΚΑΣ είναι κάπως καθυστερημένη αφού ο σκελετός του κτιρίου έχει ήδη ανεγερθεί! Τώρα θα δούμε τι μέτρα θα παρθούν για το γκρέμισμα του του κτιρίου.

 “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