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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Google doodle celebrates the 255th anniversary of the British Museum
Google Doodle celebrated today, Wednesday 15th January 2014 with a ‘doodle’ of the atrium of the British Museum. Today marks this outstanding institution‘s 255th anniversary with over 8 million outstanding objects and an equally impressive 6.7 million visitors.
It is at time like this that the millions of supporters for the reunification of the Parthenon sculptures can but reflect on the unfairness surrounding the continued division of the Parthenon sculptures.
Most days we are bombarded by the unfairness of those hungry, homeless, vulnerable…… those killed for senseless reasons, corruption, dishonesty, the list goes on and a constant reminder of all that is not right in our fragile world. Yet in the case of priceless cultural objects that measure one metre high and 160 metres long, divided mainly between two civilised and democratic cities - London and Athens - housed in mainly two superb museums, the British Museum and the Acropolis Museum. ‘We’ - the ‘we’ that know best, that care for culture, that are in charge, that can make a difference - cannot seem to find a way forward.
Imagine how wonderful it would be to create unity and be able to celebrate it whilst we still can.
For those supporters and campaigners that have passed away over the centuries all the way to those that died in last few decades, remembering Melina Mercouri and Christopher Hitchens - octogenarian Eleni Cubitt, founder of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles has this to say: “We live in difficult times, facing many difficult issue, some perhaps so big, they may not be resolved for decades to come and certainly after my time. The continued fragmentation of the Parthenon marbles need not be an unresolved matter. The superlative new Acropolis Museum is the perfect place to reunite the surviving fragmented pieces of this peerless work of art.”
By shifting attention onto a more positive path and by concentrating on the benefits of reunification, the acclaimed British Museum and its well respected director, Neil MacGregor, would put right a very old wrong and in so doing, they could be justifiably proud. It would demonstrate strong ethical and moral leadership, proving to the global community that there is a way forward for the reunification of the Parthenon sculptures.
Chessmen’s move suggests an endgame over Elgin Marbles
Chessmen’s move suggests an endgame over Elgin Marbles
The British Museum has agreed to return on loan some 12th century chess pieces to the Isle of Lewis after 180 years
Published in the Times at 12:01AM, December 28 2013
Campaigners for the return of the Elgin Marbles believe the repatriation of half a dozen medieval chess pieces to the Isle of Lewis could mark the beginning of the endgame in their longest-running cultural battle.
From 2016, the chessmen will be permanently housed on their “home” island for the first time in 180 years, when they arrive at a purpose-built gallery from the British Museum. For advocates of the Marbles’ return to Greece, the move sets a clear precedent.
“So many of the original objections put up by the British Museum for refusing to return the Marbles to Athens have been swept aside,” said Tom Flynn, of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. “There are no reasons remaining to prevent them entering a dialogue with the Greeks now about the terms of and conditions under which return might be considered.”
The chessmen will arrive on “long-term loan” at Lews Castle, high above Stornoway harbour, where work goes on to complete the £8.5 million museum which will be their home.
The island’s new centre is being built to a demanding specification. The pieces, each carved from walrus ivory, will be exhibited behind 11.5mm anti-bandit glass, and there are tremor alarms and lockdown systems to prevent vandalism or theft.
The Greek Government believes that the issue of the Marbles is clear-cut, said Evangelos Venizelos, the Deputy Prime Minister. The request to return the Marbles was not simply made in the name of his country, but “in the name of the cultural heritage of the world and with the voice of the mutilated monument itself, that cries out for its marbles to be returned”.
Made in the 12th century, the chessmen were discovered near Uig on the Isle of Lewis some time before 1831. They were then taken from the island — “looted” according to one school of thought — arriving in Edinburgh, where they were acquired by a dealer in antiquities. He sold ten pieces to a local collector, and these now form the basis of the small collection at the National Museum of Scotland. The remaining 82 were sold to the British Museum.
Linda Fabiani MSP, a former SNP Culture Minister, said: “There are strong feelings in the Western Isles and throughout Scotland that all the chessmen should be returned from London,” she said. “The same applies to the Elgin Marbles.”
The British Museum said: “The simple precondition required by the trustees before they will consider whether or not to lend an object is that the borrowing institution acknowledges the British Museum’s ownership of the object. In the case of the Lewis chessmen, the Scottish government acknowledges the museum’s trustees’ title. The Greek Government does not recognise that the trustees own the Parthenon sculptures on behalf of the world public and has not requested a loan of these objects.”
Families can embrace the festive spirit at the Acropolis Museum
Families looking to embrace the festive spirit in Athens should head to the Acropolis Museum.
Creative and imaginative children's workshops, family backpacks, gallery talks for adults, Christmas and New Year musical interludes, plus lots more, the Acropolis Museum will welcome visitors, especially #families on 21, 22, 28 and 29 December 2013.
The program includes children's workshops ‘Gifts for gods and people’, ‘The Iresioni’ and ‘We make ancient pastries at the Museum’ and the gallery talk on the ‘Celebrations of ancient Attica’.
Nelson Mandela, the moral conscience of his age
In Nelson Mandela a people and a continent found inspirational leadership, but he also earned a transcendent global stature. He was the moral conscience of his age (www.thetimes.co.uk)
George Bizos, member of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles joins the world in paying tribute to a great man and a friend.
The Acropolis Restoration Project, Greece, 26 November 2013
The Acropolis Restoration Project, Greece
Sponsored by Department of Classics & Mediterranean Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
AIA Society Event: Chicago
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
University of Illinois at Chicago, Daley Library, Room I-470
801 S. Morgan St.
Chicago, IL 60607
"The Acropolis Restoration Project, Greece"
Tasos Tanoulas, The Propylaia Restoration Project
Although best known as a part of the Periclean building program on the Athenian Acropolis, the Propylaia played an important role in the later history of the city. From the third century CE onward, it formed part of the defenses of the Acropolis, and a portion of the building was used as the residence of the Byzantine Metropolitan of Athens, later expanded into the palatial residences of the French and Florentine overlords of the city. Severely damaged by a gunpowder explosion in 1640, the Propylaia was in a dilapidated state before it was restored in 1909-17 and again beginning in 1989. The latter project, directed by Dr. Tanoulas, just received the Europa Nostra prize for historic preservation.
Social Media and Parthenon Sculptures
Sydney, 12 November 2013
Social Media and Parthenon Sculptures
The Online Community to interact with experts from around the world and have their say via Facebook and Twitter.
The Premier of NSW, The Hon Barry O’Farrell MP will officially open the International Colloquy: “Parthenon. An Icon of Global Citizenship” on Friday, the 15th of November 2013 at the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney.
“Colloquy” is the latin word for “speaking together” and the organisers of this event are trying to extend this conversation out of the limiting boundaries of a lecture hall. Using popular Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter we will try to include a larger number of participants on the four key workshop topics: EDUCATION, LITIGATION, ACTIVISM & ECONOMY. Participants will be able to follow the online conversation and discuss/comment in real time.
The event is hosted by the International Organising Committee – Australia – for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles Inc www.parthenonmarblesaustralia.org.au with the support of the American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures www.parthenonmarblesusa.org and the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles www.parthenonuk.com
Created over 2000 years ago, by the same people that introduced the concept of Democracy to humanity, the Parthenon immediately became an icon of global citizenship. Its influence continues in modern times as we see attempts to replicate its stature in famous buildings around the world. The temple of Athena has become a symbol of Eternal Perfection arising out of the marriage of Aesthetics and Science. Speakers from a number of countries around the world will share their thoughts and expertise on the significance of the Parthenon as a monument of global significance and the importance of restoring its narrative via the reunification of its sculpture collection.
More information is available on the event’s website: www.parthenonmarblesaustralia.org.au/colloquy2013
James Beresford is as usual engagingly provocative, so let us be provoked
James Beresford writes that European funding for Athens' new Acropolis museum runs counter to the treaty of the EU's requirement for such support to promote 'solidarity among the member states'.
To read his article click here
James Beresford is as usual engagingly provocative, so let us be provoked. The BCRPM ask him to consider:
1. Our understanding was that the Brussels round table was convened to advance, not to discuss the pros and cons of, the case for the reunification of the Sculptures of the Parthenon.
2. The ERDF is about economic, social and territorial cohesion. This is a macro political and economic and social project aimed at reducing inequalities within the single market. Its purpose is not to resolve cultural disputes between member states.
3. In the case of Greece tourism is a major industry. The major premise of the ERDF contribution to the Acropolis Museum was to assist Greek tourism by replacing the inadequate old Acropolis Museum with one fit to present Greece's main tourist attraction.
4. The minor premise that the new Acropolis Museum would advance the case for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles was in fact a riposte to the now obsolete argument of the British Museum that Greece had nowhere fit to display them.
5. Arguments about the economic success of the museum have to be seen in the context of Greece's financial crisis, including the decline in tourist revenues.
6. Financial malpractice as a contributor to the crisis was not confined to Greece. This was the germ of truth in George Osborne's comparison between Greece and the UK.
7. And who gained most from the ERDF grants to Greece? Northern European contractors, notably from Germany but probably also from the UK. Those of us who spent many happy youthful hours travelling in the old blue buses to remote parts of Greece marvel at the fleets of luxury Mercedes coaches which have replaced them. And who are we told paid the bribes which have landed at least one former Greek minister in gaol? German defence companies. No wonder the Greeks feel sore at having self-defeating and socially and economically destructive hyper-austerity imposed upon them by German bankers.
8. It is a fact that Pericles had moved the treasury of the Delian League to Athens in 454 BC, but scholars of ancient history advise us that the economic history of that period is too complex to draw simplistic connections between this and the financing of his great programme of public works some 15 years later. Athens had other sources of revenue, not least the silver mines at Lavrion, a windfall like our North Sea oil. There were also legitimate calls upon the funds of the Delian League to defend its members from Persian aggression before peace was concluded in 449 BC. Thus the riff about Periclean Athens being a mafia state is good yellow journalism but not good history.
9. It is also an uncomfortable fact that so much of the great monumental art in world history has been made possible only by the proceeds of military conquest or commercial and imperial exploitation.
10. It is an even more uncomfortable fact that large quantities of these products of conquest and empire have found their way as loot into the museums of subsequent imperial powers, not least those looted by Lord Elgin from the Parthenon.