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.
Notice for Commemorative Event, 07 June 2016
Commemorative Event 07 June 2016, Senate Room, Senate House, London
This conference will mark 200 years from the date in 1816 when the British Parliament voted to purchase from Lord Elgin his collection of sculpted marbles collected from the Parthenon and elsewhere on the Athenian Acropolis. Two weeks later the Acropolis Museum will be celebrating its 7th anniversary.
And the programme:
As spaces are limited, kindly register by sending an email to:
Eddie O'Hara, a loss to the campaign
Eddie O'Hara sadly passed away on Saturday 29 May 2016 in hospital surrounded by his family. He will be missed by many, not least the members of the BCRPM.
Eddie became Chairman of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles when Professor Anthnony Snodgrass retired in 2010. He described himself as 'an unreconstituted classicist and lifelong supporter of the campaign for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles'.
He was and will always be a great deal more than that. We will remember him for many aspects of his commitment to the cause but perhaps more importantly for his love and understanding of people.
Throughout his parliamentary career he tirelessly promoted the case for the Marbles to be returned to Athens, using various means including Early Day Motions, parliamentary questions, debates, meetings with ministers and the presentation of a Museums Bill, whose purpose was to remove any question as to whether museum trustees could divest themselves of objects in their collections.
He spoke at conferences and was interviewed regularly, his passion for the Parthenon Mables never waned and his dedication to the campaign was steadfast. He was until Thursday of last week involved in organising the 07 June 'Commemorative Event for the Bicentenary' to mark 200 years from the date in 1816 when the British Parliament voted to purchase from Lord Elgin his collection of sculpted marbles collected from the Parthenon and elsewhere on the Athenian Acropolis.
"The British Museum has deployed a seductive argument against their return. They have argued that the British Museum is one of a small number of ‘encyclopaedic’ museums, such as the Louvre and the New York Metropolitan Museum, and that the Parthenon Sculptures in the British Museum form part of a wider narrative of the development of western art together with outside influences upon it. They believe to return them would damage the integrity of this narrative. I disagree with these arguments and believes there are many other exemplars that the Greek Government could make available to replace the Marbles that wouldn’t damage the integrity of their narrative. " Commented Eddie O'Hara.
Eddie O’Hara also believed the British Museum overstates its case when it said that after two centuries in its collection the Marbles no longer play a part in any Greek narrative.
He added: “They should not put narratives in competition with each other but if they do surely the most important story to be told by and on behalf of the Marbles is that they form an integral unity with those in Athens, and together they form an integral unity with one of the most important historical monuments in the world.”
Eddie O’Hara also agreed with founder Eleni Cubitt, that he would welcome a credible response to the argument for the return of the Marbles on the grounds of human rights. The Faro Convention proposes that for a cultural community to be deprived of enjoyment of its cultural heritage is a violation of its human rights.
“The Greeks are a cultural community as defined by the convention and the Marbles are part of the cultural heritage with which they identify. Where there is a dispute good practice as defined by the convention includes measures to look at cooperation and reconciliation of these differences” concluded Eddie O’Hara.
Eddie O’Hara studied Literae Humaniores at Magdalen College, Oxford and had been Labour MP for Knowsley South for 20 years before retiring in 2010, General Rapporteur for the Cultural Heritage and Museums Rapporteur for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Trevor Timpson BBC News wrote in 2011: 'As a Labour MP from 1990 to 2010, Mr O'Hara was the "anchor man" for the BCRPM in Parliament.'
Heartfelt condolences from IOCARPM.
I'm deeply saddened to receive the news of Eddie's death. A huge loss to his family and friends and to the UK Marbles campaign, which he has steered with such passion and erudition. A fellow Liverpudlian, he never missed an opportunity to rib me over Everton's erratic performance. I shall miss his gentle warmth and good humour.
Although I can take no personal credit, I have long felt proud that Magdalen Lit Hum should have produced someone of such energy and learning with such admirable views on many matters, including the Greeks in our times. A sad loss for our cause.
International Museum Day 18 May & European Museum Night 21 May 2016
18 May, 2016, the Acropolis Museum will commemorate this year's International Museum Day with a Lion.
Large lions dominated the pediments of the Temple of Athena, whilst smaller ones decorated copper vessels of the sanctuary.
There will also be a collectors wallet with five commemorative medals including the Rooster, the Hare, the Crow of the Citadel and the Lion.
On Wednesday 18 May, International Museum Day, the Museum will be open from 8 a.m to 8 pm and visitors will be shown a new visual production, the 'adventures of the Parthenon marbles' in the atrium, on the third floor.
There, visitors can also meet the archaeologists and museum host guides, presenting "the history of the Parthenon marbles in later years". These presentatins will be in English at 10 am and in Greek at noon, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
A maximum of 40 visitors per presentation and registration will be taken at the information desk at the entrance of the Museum.
Children up to 12 years and their guardians, and school groups will learn about the relationship of the ancients with Lions and other cats under the action "in the wake of the lion" through stories, and game creation.
Archaeologists and museum host guides will also welcome visitors onto mobile laboratories on the balcony of the second floor overlooking the Hall of the archaic collection from 12 noon to 7 p.m. where guests can participate in both Greek and in English.
For European Museum Night on Saturday 21 May 2016, the Acropolis Museum will host a concert in the courtyard.
At 9 p.m. the Concert Ensemble of String Theory will perform "a strange World" and "Cheap: low – high quality – fun." Chopin's polonaises will be performed next to Balkan music, compositions of Grieg beside fados, songs from the far East and from the repertoire of Argyris Bakirtzis and 'winter swimmers', as well as from unusual areas in Greek discography. Performers include: Argyris Bakirtzis (song, narration), Yorgos Paterakis (concept-orchestrations, piano), Evi Mazi (flute, vocals), Konstantina Kyriazi (violin).
For more information visit www.acropolismuseum.gr/en
Democracy ancient and modern: what can we learn from the Greeks?
Paul Cartledge on democracy ancient and modern: what can we learn from the Greeks?
Fom University of Cambridge, David Runciman presenting 'Election Politics' podcast
And for the book:
- The long story of democracy, from ancient Greece to the twenty-first century, including:
- How democracy was born and developed in the ancient world - and the many different forms that it took
- The long centuries of democratic eclipse - from Byzantium to the Renaissance
- The arguments against democracy over the centuries
- The re-birth of democracy in seventeenth century England, revolutionary France, and the United States
- How democracy has been constantly reconstituted and reinvented ever since
To order a copy follow the link:
Classics and/as World Literature conference, Kings College London, 03-04 June 2016
Location: Council Room (K2.29) King’s Building Strand CampusCategoryConference/Seminar, Culture
When: 03 (10:00) - 04/06/2016 (18:30)
Contact for tickets, please visit the King's eStore
Description: Classics and/as World Literature conference
The aim of this two-day international conference is to explore (1) how Greek and Latin classical authors, often in modern-language translations, have historically functioned as part of the colonial curriculum and (2) their status relative to Comparative Literature and World Literature.
World Literature has been advocated as new approach to the study of literature in a globalised age, and as one which avoids the nationalist and colonialist pitfalls of studying literatures in traditional departmental and disciplinary formations. But prominent advocates of World Literature have as yet evaded the challenge presented by the ancient Greek and Roman literature to their conceptual framework.
Histories of World Literature progress from Gilgamesh immediately to Dante and skip everything in between. This conference is designed to address that lacuna and emphasise the rightful place of ancient Greek and Latin texts, imperialist warts and all, at the heart of the 21st-century international World Literature syllabus.
Spaces are limited. Please book your place via the King's eStore
Penwithlit and Edith Hall's Ancient Greeks
Reading Edith Hall’s book on the Ancient Greeks, develops a deep respect for the power of poetry. No poet was more effective in this regard than Homer recounting the sea adventures contained in the ‘’The Odyssey’’. It shaped the self-definition of a nation and engendered self-confidence. The mariners set out in their beautiful ships across the Aegean and established colonies to the West, in the Mediterranean as far as the Pillars of Hercules, to the East as far as the Levant and built trading cities in natural harbours along the fertile edges of the Black Sea. They were, as Plato wrote in the Phaedo, “around the sea, like frogs and ants around a pond.” They were encouraged by Delphic oracles and inspired by the company of diving dolphins.
The structure of Hall’s account is clearly set down at the start with a useful chronology from the Myceneans in 1500 B.C. to the close of the Delphic oracle in 395 A.D. providing a clear context for the following text. It also gives a framework that neatly conveys the interaction between individuals, resources, military conflicts, the arts, sports, social upheavals and importantly the contributions of recent research. Anyone reading this book will discover how much our understanding of the Greeks has developed currently from new excavations, discoveries and recent scientific techniques. The first four strongly interconnected qualities that Hall ascribes to the Greeks are that they were seagoing, suspicious of authority, individualistic and inquiring. Further, they were open to new ideas, witty, competitive, admired excellence in people of talent, were exceptionally articulate and were also addicted to pleasure.
Read more here
Warfare and economics conference, London 27-29 April 2016 at University College London
On 27–29 April, the departments of History and Greek & Latin at University College London are organizing a collaborative conference to bring together recent scholarship on the interplay between economics and ancient warfare.
“War,” Thucydides wrote, “is not about weapons, but money.” The ancients saw the link between economics and warfare, and throughout antiquity their understanding of these two areas of human activity developed hand in hand. Wars were fought over resources and trade networks; states experimented with ever more sophisticated forms of wealth extraction to finance their campaigns. The development of state finances allowed war to grow ever more sustained and professional, evolving from the border raids of untrained Greek militias to the world-conquering campaigns of Imperial Rome. Writes Roel Konijnendijk