Welcome to the site of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. These pages contain detailed information on the Parthenon (Elgin) Marbles, together with the case for their return to Athens, Greece. If you would like to find out about the various ways to get involved with the campaign, or simply to learn more about the subject, then please read on.
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For full details on all our latest news items, please visit our Latest News page.
New legislation to facilitate recovery of illegally removed national treasures Article
Tuesday 19 February 2013
New legislation to facilitate recovery of illegally removed national treasures Article
By Elena Ralli
The European Commission is planning to help Member States recover national treasures which have been unlawfully removed from their territory by amending its current legislation that has several inadequacies. Consequently, the European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani proposed today to strengthen the possibility for restitution available to Member States.
As Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship stated: "Safeguarding the cultural heritage of all Member States is of major importance to the European Union. Our proposal is therefore necessary to further strengthen the effectiveness of the fight against illegal trafficking in cultural goods. The harmful effect on our national treasures represent a serious threat to the preservation of the origins and history of our civilization."
The proposed changes would apply to cultural goods classified as "national treasures" unlawfully removed after 1993 that are now located on the territory of another Member State.
The suggestions regarding the amendment of the legislation include extending the scope of the definition of cultural goods, extending the deadline for initiating return proceedings in the courts of the country where the property is now located, using the internal market information system to facilitate administrative cooperation and information exchanges between national authorities and finally, asking any possessor of an object requiring compensation for returning the object to prove it was not knowingly acquired illegally.
Illegal trafficking of cultural goods covers a wide range of activities from the unlawful removal of cultural property without compulsory permission, to trade in stolen goods.
'The Parthenon [Elgin] Marbles - the Case for Reunification' - presentation by Eddie O'Hara at Oxford University 29 January 2013
On Tuesday 29th January 2013, Eddie O'Hara, Chairman for the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Mables (BCRPM) will be in Oxford, giving a presentation, 'The Parthenon [Elgin] Marbles - the Case for Reunification', to the Oxford University Classics Society at 15:30 pm.
This presentation is open to all and will take place in the 2nd floor lecture theatre of Radcliffe Humanities (formerly Radcliffe Infirmary). All those interested in classics, ancient Greece, or museology, should consider attending!
On the duty to repatriate “exiles”?
The author argues that, beyond the archaeological and aesthetic evidence, the return of the Elgin Marbles is a fundamentally ethical issue.
The European crisis, financial in appearance, is in reality profoundly social, even societal. The problems that Greece has faced and those she is made to face are only the tip of the European iceberg. The number, types and levels of dishonourable shameless attacks on the birthplace of our civilisation should remind the thinking public = you, that Aesop’s lesson (the dogs and the fox) “it is easy to kick a man that is down”,13 is sadly relevant to the situation, in particular to the support from Britons, who pay or don’t pay income tax but advise Greece that if they want to stay in the Eurozone, they should accept the consequences and get on with it! Therefore we Europeans need to reflect on the meaning of the word ‘community’ and start building the group that calls itself the “European Community”. This research report on the Parthenon, a perennial issue since the 1816 parliamentary debate, now needs to be made accessible to a wider audience in the hope that the claims which attempt to justify the retention by Britain of goods received from an occupying power are, at last, seen to be what they really are...
Copyright . Michelle Pépratx-Evans
The Parthenon, before its destruction in part by fire during the Venetian siege, had been a temple, a church and a mosque. In each point of view it is an object of regard; it changed its worshippers; but still it was a place of worship thrice sacred to devotion: its violation is a triple sacrilege.4 (G G Byron, 1812)
New committee established to press for return of Parthenon Marbles
The culture ministry on Wednesday 19 September 2012, announced that it will re-establish a special advisory committee to coordinate actions aimed at securing the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles.
The president of the Melina Mercouri Foundation, Christoforos Argyropoulos, archaeologist Eleni Korka, attorney Irini Stamatoudi, who heads the Intellectual Property Organisation, and foreign ministry representative Panos Kalogeropoulos were listed as members of the committee, announced by Alternate Culture Minister Costas Tzavaras.
"Greece's moral right is above every objection that is based on arguments aired as mere delay tactics, and aiming to brush aside the basic principle that is universally applied, namely, the necessity of cultural monuments to be repatriated, meaning a return to the place of their origin," Tzavaras said.
SOURCE: ATHENS NEWS AGENCY
London International Colloquy on the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles
The Colloquy's proceedings are now available on YouTube.
This is a preview
New Acropolis Museum picks up award in London
08 November 2010, London
THE WINNERS of the UK travel trade’s most prestigious annual tourism project awards were announced at the British Guild of Travel Writers’ Annual Gala Awards Dinner held at the Savoy in London on November 07, on the eve of the World Travel Market.
The event is the UK’s premier occasion for the travel industry to recognise the world's most innovative and newest tourism projects following nominations from members of the Guild, the premier professional association for bonafide journalists, editors, photographers, and radio and film broadcasters working in the travel field from Britain.
The Guild Tourism Awards presented for successful and environmentally sustainable projects that benefit local communities, are highly coveted.
The evening was attended by more than 300 of the UK’s top travel media professionals as well as high-profile representatives of the international travel world.
The winner of the Globe Category (receiving more than 250,000 visitors a year), nominated by Nigel Tisdall, was the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, built to replace the old museum which has done an admirable job since 1865, but was short of space. In 2001 a competition was held to build a new museum - one ten times larger and fit for the 21st century. The competition was won by a Swiss architect, Bernard Tschumi, and the new Acropolis Museum opened in June 2009.
Bright and spacious, the new museum lies at the foot of the Acropolis and has already attracted over two million visitors - many are amazed by the perfection of its design and the beauty of the artworks within. Built on three levels like disjointed slabs, the galleries use locally-sourced marble and recyclable glass and steel, and make ingenious use of convection to reduce the need for air conditioning. Wheelchair-friendly with 14,000 square metres of exhibition space, it rarely feels crowded. Signage is commendably unintrusive and visitors can walk right round its marvellous sculptures, with the changing daylight creating a contemplative atmosphere.
Greek Australian writes storybook: "Building the New Acropolis Museum"
The book “Building the New Acropolis Museum” is by Niki Dollis and illustrated and designed by Elena Zournatzi.
The children’s book tells the story of the realization of a dream. As Niki Dollis mentions in her introduction, it is “a book about hope, expectation… but also hard work for the construction and preparation of the New Acropolis Museum”.
The storybook “Building the New Acropolis Museum” by Niki Dollis is published by Livanis Publishing Organization.
Through the 60 pages of her book Dollis familiarises young and all readers, with the notion of a museum. It is a very interesting subject to begin with especially when it serves as an open window to the world of ancient Greece, such as the New Acropolis Museum.
The images are digitally processed. The texts, graphics and illustrations are dominated by bright colors. The book tells the story of the monument established 2,500 years ago up until the final stage of the construction of the New Museum. It invites the reader to an exciting experience of taking a “walk… in history!” as Niki Dollis writes.
Dollis wanted to share with everyone her unique experience since 2000, when she started her collaboration with Dimitris Pantermalis at the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum. She is now in charge of public relations.
In order to get the message throughout the world, the book was also written in English. For copies follow the link.
“When I enter the museum, I feel, I believe, such as our visitors – as if I am entering another Greece – but also great satisfaction and pride. That is why I felt the need to speak out, especially to children, for a case that some may have considered given”, stated Niki Dollis. She wanted to pass on a specific message to the children; that when you really want something, it can become true.
“I believe it was worth for someone to speak on the great, collective work of many people, which was required to successfully reach the realization of the dream. People who loved what they did and cooperated really well, something which is not so common in Greece. The Head of the Museum, Dimitris Pantermalis, architects Bernard Tschumi and Michael Fotiadis and many others. I thought to myself now this is a good example for the children as I personally believe in collective work, through which you can learn a lot. I believe that this is what we need the most in Greece today”.
From Australia to Greece
Dollis was born and raised in Melbourne by Greek parents with roots from Laconia and Lavrion. She never imagined that someday she would be working at the New Acropolis Museum, let alone to write her first book on it.
“For a Greek of the Diaspora, being so close to the Acropolis is something fantastic”, says Niki Dollis, who had a first “live” glimpse of the world monument – symbol at the age of twelve, when television programs started in Australia.
Having completed her studies as a social worker at the University of Melbourne, Niki Dollis actively participated in Australia in the development of employment programs for the unemployed, the operation of community centers, and the improvement of immigrant access to the healthcare system. She also served as the Director of the Greek-Australian Welfare. Dollis also served as president of an Australian NGO which represented the needs of global citizens with disabilities.
Since 1989 she worked at the Health Ministry in the State of Victoria as a consultant on improving immigrants’ access to the healthcare system services. She then became a Director of the relevant department. Meanwhile she was seconded to the Federal Ministry of Healthcare to prepare a national consultation document for immigrants’ access to Healthcare Services, while she was in charge of a program of the Federal Government and the seven States of Australia, aiming towards the amelioration of Public Healthcare. (National Public Health Partnership)
Along with her husband Dimitris Dollis, who was an MP at the time and Deputy Leader of the Labor Party in Victoria, took a very important decision to move permanently to Greece along with their two children, Nina and Giannis in 1999.
“Whatever I learned through my work in Australia, was as if I was preparing for work here” says Dollis, since the museum as she states “is a public service, with a historical and cultural character, but substantially serves as a public service which must be accessible to the public, in the best possible way, away from bureaucratic procedures”.
Personally she believes her collaboration with Professor Pantermalis is a great honor. She describes him as an: “an open-minded person, who has the gift to guide his colleagues, but also listen to their opinion, which is something rare nowadays”.
Along with Professor Pantermalis she edited the text of the edition “Acropolis Museum; A year in operation”.
Today as the director of the Museum’s Head Office she deals with issues related to the operation of the museum, staff training and more. Something which gives her pleasure is seeing the pride of young people working in the museum and the efforts they make to give their best, responding to the rules governing its operation. And the dream lives on…