2014 Archived News

As cycling becomes topical with the Tour de France in Blighty, three cycling enthusiasts share their passion for the sculptures of the Parthenon

Up to two million fans are expected on the streets of Yorkshire this weekend for the start of the 2014 Tour de France.

The three-week stage race is returning to England for the first time since 2007, with two stages in Yorkshire and a third finishing in London on Monday.

The 101st edition of the 2,277-mile, 21-stage race ends in Paris on 27 July2014. More here

But what has cycling got to do with the sculptures of the Parthenon? Good question and not sure what the ancients may have made of our campaigning to reunite the sculptures of the Parthenon in the Acropolis Museum.....But three very different and very dedicated individuals, share their love of cycling with their love for this peerless work of art.

Currently the Parthenon marbles are mainly divided between two great museums - the British Museum, globally recognised as the museum of the world not just in Britain but globally and the relatively new Acropolis Museum (this June was this museum's 5th anniversary) in Athens, Greece - where the sculptures can be seen in the context of the Parthenon itself.  

Decades of campaigning and centuries of requests to do the 'right' thing and return these fragmented sculptures has resulted in more reasons why the British Museum cannot do the right thing - mainly that in the BM, these sculptures tell their story in the context of world history and that allowing them to join their other halves, would set a precedent. The surviving sculptures  best tell their story displayed in the Acropils Museum and as research has shown very few BM visitors make the connections between the objects that are displayed .  The floogates would not mean that the BM would be denuded, after all floodgate regulate flow and these sculptures are the only work of art fragmented in this fashion and the only work of art that has come from a building, a UNESCO world heritage site that still stands.

So what makes complete sense and what the majority of the public feel would be the right thing to do, the tiny but powerful minority can decide to ignore and now have announced that some of these sculptures will be displayed in a new exhibition, to show once again that they can be seen in different contexts.

Back to cycling. Healthy past time for many (of all ages) and a leading sport for many more. But how did three individuals bring cycling into the campaign for the reunification?

We have to start with the outstanding Dr Christopher Stockdale, a long serving BCRPM member, inspired by Anne Mustoe. He bravely cycled from the courtyard of the British Museum on 15 April 2005 (his wife Margaret and Eleni Cubitt then Secretary for the BCRPM waved him off) to the foot of the Acropolis in Athens and made his way with his bike all the way to the Parthenon. It took Chris 3 weeks, 3 days, 5 hours and 26.6 minutes to complete this cycle. More on this story here.

Chris Acropolis  May 2005 compressed

On Tuesday 01 July, Dr Luca Lo Sicco embarked on his bicycle, also from the British Museum and will be making his way across Europe and then will cross from Italy to Greece by ferry to continue on his way to the Acropolis Museum, where he intends to donate his bicycle to the museum! Professor Pandermalis, President of the Acropolis Museum sent him a letter and is looking forward to Luca's arrival in Athens. 

luca BM

In the July 2nd edition of the Yorkshire Post Life & Style Magazine, there was an article about a formidable octagenerian, Michelle Patrax Evans. Also a keen cyclist, Michelle is living in Leeds and looking forward to this year's tour de France. She is also very passionate about the sculptures of the Parthenon.

Before her interview with journalist Sarah Freeman, Michelle frantically made contact to ask, was cycling a part of the sculptures?

Michelle Petrax - Evans ON BIKE

Sge was delighted to discover that indeed there is a firm connection, starting with Dr Chris Stockdale and his amazing trip in 2005 prior to the opening of the Acropolis Museum and then Luca, a University lecturer living in Britain was embarking on the same journey on the 1st of July this year, shortly after the Acropolis Museum would have celebrated its 5th year of operation.

The Yorkshire Post Life & Style magazine can be viewed on line and a small selected part of the article can be viewed here

Below a supportive note from Gail Lawton of Westwood Care to Michelle

Sent: Friday, July 04, 2014 8:37 AM


Subject: RE: YP Life & Style Coverage


Good morning Michelle

I hope you're well.

I am sure your article will inspire many people to find out more about the Parthenon Marbles.  I am a great believer that artefacts should remain where they were meant to be, so I wish you and your supporters every success.

I hope you very much enjoy Le Tour this weekend and find a good spot to view the race!   The atmosphere will be amazing.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Kind regards


Gail Lawton
........................................................Westward Care Ltd

Head Office, Leeds