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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As Christopher Hitchens wrote in July 2009, still stands true today, July 2013
The Lovely Stones
The British may continue in their constipated fashion to cling to what they have so crudely amputated, but the other museums and galleries of Europe have seen the artistic point of re-unification and restored to Athens what was looted in the years when Greece was defenseless. Professor Pandermalis proudly showed me an exquisite marble head, of a youth shouldering a tray, that fits beautifully into panel No. 5 of the north frieze. It comes courtesy of the collection of the Vatican. Then there is the sculpted foot of the goddess Artemis, from the frieze that depicts the assembly of Olympian gods, by courtesy of the Salinas Museum, in Palermo. From Heidelberg comes another foot, this time of a young man playing a lyre, and it fits in nicely with the missing part on panel No. 8. Perhaps these acts of cultural generosity, and tributes to artistic wholeness, could “set a precedent,” too?
The Acropolis Museum has hit on the happy idea of exhibiting, for as long as following that precedent is too much to hope for, its own original sculptures with the London-held pieces represented by beautifully copied casts. This has two effects: It allows the visitor to follow the frieze round the four walls of a core “cella” and see the sculpted tale unfold (there, you suddenly notice, is the “lowing heifer” from Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn). And it creates a natural thirst to see the actual re-assembly completed. So, far from emptying or weakening a museum, this controversy has instead created another one, which is destined to be among Europe’s finest galleries. And one day, surely, there will be an agreement to do the right thing by the world’s most “right” structure.
Acropolis Museum to conduct research with public and experts on its unique collection of archaic statues starting 31 July 2013
Commencing Tuesday 31 July 2012, the Acropolis Museum wants to conduct research on its unique collection of archaic statues, which retain their colours to a small or large degree, and to open a very extensive discussion with the public and various experts on colour, its technical issues, its detection using new technologies, its experimental use on marble surfaces, its digital reconstruction, its meaning, as well as the archaic period’s aesthetic perception of colour.
So far, scientific research into the colour found on ancient sculpture has made great progress and reached surprising conclusions that to a large degree refute the stereotypical assumptions regarding ancient sculpture. It turns out that colour, far from being just a simple decorative element, added to the sculpture’s aesthetic quality.
For ancient Greeks and their society, colour constituted a way to characterize various attributes. The blond hair of the gods projected their power; the brown skin of warriors and athletes was a sign of virtue and valour, while the white skin of the korai expressed the grace and radiance of youth.
The Μuseum’s initiative on Archaic Colours is based on very careful observation, on spectroscopic analysis, on special photography sessions, on efforts to reproduce the colours of antiquity and then to apply them on Parian marble, and naturally, on searching through written sources for valuable information on the pigments.
The statues’ crisp, saturated colours, on bright garments and tender bodies, combined with the rich jewellery, frequently made of metal, and elaborately curled hair created a singular aesthetic pleasure, making the archaic statues “wonderful to behold” for the people of the period.
Brief presentations which focus on “Archaic Colours” are held by Museum Archaeologist – Hosts, with rich visual material, both in Greek and English.
For more information click here.
Family Backpack «Archaic Colours»
On the occasion of the initiative on Archaic Colours, the Museum invites families to discover the archaic colours through the following games: the game of discovering details, the painting box and the DOMINO.
For more information click here.
Colour the Peplos Kore
Visitors also have the opportunity to continue participating in the “Archaic Colours“ initiative from home, through the online digital interactive game “Colour the Peplos Kore“. Visitors can use the brush and colours of their choice, colour the statue of Peplos Kore and finally print and save their work as many times as they wish and in several variations.
Greek Culture and Sports Minister, Panos Panagiotopoulos met UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova , in Paris on Tuesday 23 July, 2013
Greek Culture and Sports Minister, Panos Panagiotopoulos met UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova , in Paris on Tuesday 23 July, 2013.
Minister Panagiotopoulos discussed the on-going plight of the Parthenon sculptures.
Although requests to reunite the sculptures in Athens are now two centuries old and minister Panagiotopoulos remembered Melina Mercouri's passionate appeal for the fragmented sculptures during her time as Minister of Culture - he emphasised - " this dialogue unites us all."
Minister Panagiotopoulos has also been in contact with members of an advisory committee set up for this purpose to discuss strategy and tactics.
To read the full article as reported on the UNESCO site please use the link:
Celebrating the opening of the New Acropolis Museum in 2009
Happy 4th birthday to a world class museum, the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece
20 June 2013 - what a great occasion, it will be the Acropolis Museum's 4th birthday and we are all sending its team of managers and industrious staff, directed by Professor Pandermalis, a huge 'happy birthday' wish!
www.theacropolismuseum.gr - check out the music programme for the day!
The Acropolis Museum is getting set to celebrate its fourth birthday on Thursday 20 June 2013. The exhibition areas will remain open from 8 a.m. until 12 midnight. The restaurant will be open during the same hours. On this occasion, admission will be reduced (3 euros) for all visitors.
Visitors will have the opportunity to discover – together with Museum Archaeologist – Hosts, untold stories of the surviving blocks of the frieze, with the aid of 3D presentations on special screens installed in the Parthenon Gallery.
At 21:00 the Athens Municipality Philharmonic Orchestra will present a musical concert in the Museum’s entrance courtyard with famous melodies of the world band repertoire.
In addition, the museum will commence the exclusive production of copies of two exhibits, the head of Poseidon and the head of Artemis from the east frieze of the Parthenon, available in the Museum Shops.
Socrates and his Clouds June 4-22
Socrates and his Clouds
Inspired by Aristophanes
at the Jermyn Street Theatre
This world premiere by award-winning playwright William Lyons is brought to the stage by a team of young, emerging Greek-Cypriot and Greek theatre makers in collaboration with other international artists. At a time when Greece and Cyprus are coming under unrelenting attack on all fronts, this production acts as an active dialogue between the ancient heritage of the Hellenistic world and the current state of affairs in Europe.
REVIEWS re "Socrates and his Clouds" Jermyn Street Theatre, Piccadilly - June 4th - June 22nd 2013.
“The cast are excellent…Melina Theochardiou’s direction is clever and witty and, like the script, manages to combine the feel of a, at times, self-referential Greek play with an accessible modern style. The set is simple and effective and the opportunity for fun within scene changes has not been missed… This seriocomedy zips along and does not feel like a one act one-and-a-half hour show at all.” ( * * * * Ted MacMillan – West End Frame)
“Rest assured, an in-depth knowledge of philosophy is not a pre-requisite to enjoy this performance; the writing is intelligent but not highbrow and the humour and themes are widely accessible…Alex Andreou…plays [Socrates] excellently [and] Paul Hutton’s [Strepsiades] superbly comic mannerisms and timing bring light relief to a show which could otherwise drag a little. Jack Montgomery, as his son Phidippides, was appropriately loathsome and arrogant…The Fates – for such I assume the chorus to be – were charismatic, entertaining and pitch-perfect on rather demanding melodies… The setting and props were simple but effective.” (Genni Trickett - London Theatre Reviews)
“Paul Hutton gives Strepsiades an instant comic reality and rapidly establishes a rapport with the audience. Jack Montgomery’s Phiddy is an excellent pairing, exactly the spoiled-child selfish brat we are told his mother made him. The hectic nature of their lively double act is set against the warm gentleness of Alexander Andreou’s Socrates…Riana Athanasiou, Lucyelle Cliffe and Rahil Liapopoulou [the Chorus] bid farewell [at the Exodos] with the same tuneful energy as they have brought to the play.
Melina Theocharidou’s production has found a style that perfectly matches this text. She is well served by Katerina Angelopoulou’s colourful design with its simple setting of clouds sketched on a blue back wall and white pillar drums rearranged to suit. [The scene changes] are an opportunity for some beautiful music from composer, Olivios Karaolides.”
(Howard Loxton - British Theatre Guide)
“Inspired by Aristophanes’ Clouds and Plato’s Dialogues, Socrates and His Clouds pays homage to the classics in its structure and format. Set in Athens and with a looming Greek chorus of three harmonising women, the play is highly reminiscent of classic Greek theatre with more than a few modern twists. The characters are dressed in modern clothing, and though the dialogue has an eloquent flow it is adapted to what is often farcical humour. This unique envisioning is sure to delight fans of ancient Greek storytelling, who will no doubt enjoy the many referential nods to the Hellenistic world…The production is commendable. Every actor is talented and well cast, and Paul Hutton as Strepsiades is particularly strong as both a dramatic and comedic performer. Melina Theocharidou’s direction deftly combines classic Greek theatre with the modernity the script demands, and the philosophical debates that arise throughout Lyons’ play are successfully thought provoking…Fans of Greek classics and philosophy will take away plenty from Lyons’s thoughtful script, and though its fan base may turn out to be rather niche, the show undoubtedly offers much to appreciate.” (Geri Silver – A Younger Theatre)
BBC Radio 4's 'In a Prince's Footsteps' series, John McCarthy talks to Professor Pandermalis
Friday May 17. BBC Radio 4's 'In a Prince's footsteps' series,Episode 10 - John McCarthy talks to Professor Pandermalis about the six figures of the Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis, Athens - and the sensitive question of the removal of the sixth caryatid.
This radio series coincides with a major exhibition of Bedford's photographs by
the Royal Collection, currently showing at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in