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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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.
Oliver Kamm, columnist for The Times adds his support to the reunification of the Parthenon sculptures
29 October 2013
Oliver Kamm wrote in the Times on 29 October, 2013 that he believes the Parthenon (Elgin) Marbles should be returned to Athens to be displayed with the surviving fragments in the Acropolis Museum.
Oliver mentions the British Museums claim that the Parthenon sculptures in Bloomsbury “allows different and complementary stories to be told about the surviving sculptures". Oliver compares this equivocation to 'ripping apart the First Folio of Shakespeare and parcelling out random pages — not even complete plays or scenes'. Sacrilege.
Oliver's conclusion: 'The Museum of the Acropolis in Athens gets modern visitors as close to a unified masterpiece as is now possible. The sculptures surely should be housed there.'
You can read Oliver's full article on line
What is sad is some of the comments, but hey we applaud Oliver's support wholeheartedly and all those Times readers that can 'see' the logic in reuniting a peerless work of art that remains unnecessarily fragmented between two great museum, in two great cities.
'Ochi Day' 28 October was celebrated at the Acropolis Museum with free admission plus lots more
Monday October 28, 2013
The Acropolis Museum today, 28 October celebrated ‘Ochi Day’ with free admission and special events
October 28 is a Greek national holiday which commemorates the rejection by Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on October 28, 1940.
Today to commemorate this annual national holiday, the Acropolis Museum was open free of charge from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The museum also presented a talk for adults entitled “The Other Gods of the Acropolis” and an interactive workshop for children, entitled “Myths in Images.”
Although Athena was the patron goddess of their city, the Athenians also worshipped a host of other deities, among them Zeus, Asclepius, Dionysus and Aphrodite. “The Other Gods of the Acropolis” addresses the cult practices and monuments associated with these other gods.
“Myths in Images” gave children the opportunity to create their own artistic impressions of ancient Greek myths. Participants drew and painted the mythological heroes of Greek antiquity.
THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF EXPERTS ONTHE RETURN OF CULTURAL PROPERTY OLYMPIA 23-27 OCTOBER 2013THE CASE FOR THE REUNIFICATION OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES
For more information on this event please also visit the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport.
23 October 2013 , Athens, Greece
Eddie O’ Hara, Chairman of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles
THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF EXPERTS ON
THE RETURN OF CULTURAL PROPERTY
OLYMPIA 23-27 OCTOBER 2013
THE CASE FOR THE REUNIFICATION OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES
I am fortunate today to have available to me the best possible of visual aids to support the case which I shall put before you. We are sitting in a museum, past winner of the Museum of the Year Award, the principal display of which is the very subject which I shall be presenting. We also sit within sight of that subject, the Parthenon, whose surviving sculptural components – not adornments – components, are at issue.
THE PARTHENON MARBLES, known also as The Parthenon Sculptures, formerly but I am pleased to say no longer The Elgin Marbles, are the subject of one of the oldest and most passionate disputes over the return of cultural property.
THE BRITISH COMMITTEE FOR THE REUNIFICATION OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES has been campaigning for thirty years in support of the reunification of these marbles. I pay tribute to Eleni Cubitt and her late husband James for their inspiration and initiative in establishing the committee, and the many distinguished academics, many now deceased, who have served the committee over that time. Over the years similar groups have been established in other countries. Now there are nearly 17 organisations on four continents, most of them affiliated to the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.
I must first present the background to the dispute. This will be simply factual and descriptive – and brief. It will not include analysis of the artistic merits of the Parthenon and its sculptures. It will necessarily skate over some scholarly details. I apologise for this to those with much knowledge of the subject if this is superficial. My purpose is to spend as much of my time as possible on the dispute over reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.