2016 Archived News

Cycling and the Parthenon Marbles

Congratulations to Chris Froome on winning this year's Tour de France. 

Chris also won the 2013 and 2015 races and is the first to successfully defend his title in more than 20 years. He finished this years epic race, arm-in-arm with his team-mates behind the peloton after Andre Greipel won the final sprint finish.

Cycling has also featured in the campaign for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles Three very different and very dedicated individuals, share their passion for cycling with a deep desire to see this peerless work of art reunited in the Acropolis Museum, in Athens, Greece.

Currently the surviving Parthenon marbles are mainly (and almost equally) divided between two great museums - the British Museum in London, where their collection has been displayed for 200 years and the Acropolis Museum in Athens, which recently celebrated it's seventh year. It is in Athens, that 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 the main reason stopping the British Museum  from doing the right thing. In the BM, these sculptures form part of world history. Over six millions visitors  to the British Museum are  shown how they should 'see' history in the context of other objects and their stories.

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 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 2014, Dr Luca Lo Sicco embarked on his first bicycle trip from the British Museum, across Europe to Greece and the Acropolis Museum, where he donated his bicycle to the museum. Professor Pandermalis, President of the Acropolis Museum sent him this letter

luca BM

Luca continued his cycling the following year to Copenhagen, Denmark. It is here, in the National Museum of Denmark, there are two heads missing from a metope, which is in  the British Museum in London.

On 02 July 2014, the edition of the Yorkshire Post Life & Style Magazine, carried an article on formidable octagenerian, Michelle Patrax Evans. Also a keen cyclist, Michelle lives in Leeds and was looking forward to the tour de France of 2014 but she has been passionate about the sculptures from the Parthenon for decades.

Before her interview with journalist Sarah Freeman, Michelle frantically made contact to ask, was cycling a part of the campaign for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles ....

Michelle Petrax - Evans ON BIKE

Cannot describe her delighted response when we did inform Michelle that indeed Dr Chris Stockdale had made an amazing trip in 2005 before the Acropolis Museum had opened and that Luca, a University lecturer living in Britain was embarking on the same journey on the 1st of July 2014.

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

And with cycling playing a significant role for campaigners of the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, we would like to add our heartfelt congratulations to Chris Froome on winning the Tour de France yesterday and for the third time. A great achievement.