2016 Archived News

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill and the Parthenon Marbles

31 October 2016 and The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Karen Bradley) states: "We have waited a long time to be able to ratify the 1954 Hague convention and accede to its two protocols. The need for this Bill is paramount. In recent months, we have seen the wanton destruction of cultural heritage.

Heritage, monuments and cultural artefacts are part of what makes a country great, educating and inspiring people, and bringing them together as a nation."


And indeed it is a welcomed Second Reading. For the full debate, click here.


Newspaper articles that followed this second reading included the Express and the Herald.


Brendan O'Hara (Argyll and Bute) (SNP) suggested:"While The Hague convention is specific to times of armed conflict, the work of protecting cultural heritage must also continue in peacetime. In the spirit of the convention, we urge the Government to take this opportunity to return the Parthenon marbles—the Elgin marbles—to Greece where they belong. The passing of the Bill and the ratification of the protocols give the Government an excellent opportunity to lead by example and celebrate the ratification of the convention with a highly appropriate and long overdue gesture."


Campaigners were grateful for this support from Brendan O'Hara and not surprised by  Ed Vaizey response - although as ever one questions the real reasons for anyone wishing to keep a peerless work of art fragmented between two great museums - the Acropolis Museum in Athens and the British Museum in London.

Newspaper articles that followed included the Express and the Herald.

Tmes like this we reflect on BCRPM campaigners such as the late Chris Price who spoke of cultural mobility and tried to meet with Ed Vaizey. Not least Eddie O'Hara, Chairman of BCRPM from 2010-2016 who also campaigned for what he believed in:

The Parthenon Gallery in the Acropolis Museum, is the one place on earth where it is possible to have a single and aesthetic experience simultaneously of the Parthenon and its sculptures