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.
Mrs Clooney creates a surge of interest for the sculptures of the Parthenon
Now that the dust has settled what is the net outcome of the highly publicised visit of Amal Alamuddin-Clooney to Athens to advise the Greek Government on its policy in demanding the return of the Parthenon marbles currently in the British Museum? Because of her A list status, her involvement has brought exposure of the issue, both in Britain and throughout the world, to people and places to which it has never before penetrated.
We know from experience that it will consequentially have brought an incalculably valuable boost in support for the campaign. But the principles and practices of the campaign remain the same. For the foreseeable future we carry on as normal, campaigning to persuade the British Government, either directly or through the pressure of all the public and professional opinion (of all sorts) which we can muster in our support to accept the case for the reunification of the Parthenon marbles.
"Professional" includes not just museum professionals, important as they are, but actors, authors, journalists, athletes, indeed anyone in the public eye who has a public following which can be reached through their interest. We have abundant evidence that when the public are made aware of the issue they tend by a large majority to support reunification. The more of this support we can demonstrate the stronger is the case we can make to the British Government that, if it won't search its own conscience, it is out of step with the public it represents in resisting demands for reunification.
So, thank you Amal Alamuddin-Clooney for your active involvement in the campaign for the reunification of the Parthenon marbles. Not only have you created a surge of British public interest in (and, predictably, support for) this reunification but also the world wide awareness of the issue which you have caused will, predictably, bring discredit to Britain for as long as our government fails to respond. Please continue, with your husband, to demonstrate your support for our campaign.
Eddie O'Hara, Chairman, British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles
For more artilcles:
As a Briton, I hang my head in shame. We must return the Parthenon marbles, Helena Smith, Observer, 19 October 2014
LOOK, I'm as big a patriot as the next Briton but honestly, we have to give the Elgin Marbles back to Greece, Richard & Judy, Express, 18 October, 2014
George Clooney's wife Amal Alamuddin aids Greece's bid for return of Elgin Marbles, Nick Squires, Telegraph, 08 October, 2014
Amal has the Greek gods in her sights, Evening Standard, 08 October 2014
UNESCO and moving forward
Amid the media attention of Amal Alamuddin-Clooney's visit to Athens to advise the Greek Government on its policy options to secure the return of those sculptures of the Parthenon held in the British Museum another piece of news was released: the decision of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin to stipulate a 6 month limit on the time for parties to respond to calls for mediation over disputed cultural property.
The "committee with the long name", as it is called affectionately by UNESCO aficionados, is the body which supported the Greek appeal for mediation over the Parthenon marbles in October 2013. It is worth noting that this issue has been a standing item on its agenda since 1984. The only response from the British Government in 12 months, and that only when asked, is that it will respond in due course. It is difficult to see what difference this new stipulation will make, other than moral pressure on the British Government, for what that is worth.
There is no legal mechanism to make the British Government comply. Even if it did agree to comply, that would only be the start of a long process. Presumably both parties would have to agree to mutually acceptable mediators, a predictably lengthy process. Then both sides would presumably have the right to offer evidence in a quasi judicial process. Then eventually, if a decision is reached, perhaps there might be a right of appeal. Finally, if a decision were made in favour of reunification, the British Government would have to repeal or amend the British Museum Act (1963) to make it legally possible for the British Museum Trustees to divest themselves of this cultural property held in their trust.
Add to this the competition on the right of British politics to show the most macho opposition to any hint of outside diktat to the British Government and we are talking of not just months but probably years. So, a quick fix it is not. But if the eventual outcome is reunification it is a journey worth travelling.
Eddie O'Hara, Chairman
Giving the sculptures from the Parthenon displayed in the UK back to Greece, would be a grand gesture on cultural and ethical grounds
14 October, 2014. Today Amal Clooney and Geoffrey Robertson will tour the Acropolis Museum and hold talks with the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Konstantinos Tasoulas, the Culture Minister- as Athens renews its call for the reunification of the sculptures from the Parthenon.
Eddie O'Hara, chairman of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon sculptures maintains that 'giving the schulptures from the Parthenon, displayed in the UK back to Greece, would be a grand gesture on cultural and ethical grounds.'
Two years from now, 2016 - will mark the 200th anniversary of the purchase by the British Government of the sculptures that Lord Elgin removed from the Parthenon in Athens - when Greece was under Ottoman rule.
Their removal was criticised by Byron, among others, who denounced Lord Elgin as a vandal, and wrote in a poem "Dull is the eye that will not weep to see, Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed, By British hands ..."
Britain's refusal to return the marbles, also known as the Parthenon friezes, was a matter of shame, said Mr O'Hara, a former Labour MP for Knowsley South in Merseyside.
"Every time an international visitor sees them, that's to the discredit of the UK. Giving them back would be a grand gesture on cultural and ethical grounds.
"This monument has a special place in Western civilisation and it should have its integrity restored."
The friezes should be returned as "soon as possible" the British Committee argues.
Article by Nick Squires, in Athens for the Telegraph and to read the on line version, click here
Cultural heritage, the unity of the sculptures from the Parthenon and doing the right thing
We wish them every succes with their endeavours and reflect on the British Committee's founder, Mrs Eleni Cubitt's own words of wisdow
Imagine how wonderful it would be to create unity for the sculptures from the Parthenon and be able to celebrate this unity, whilst we still can.
“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.
"Cultural heritage should refer to those objects which are of central significance and vital importance to the sense of identity and dignity of any human group and whose removal by force or deception or even ignorance could cause great sorrow, pain and outrage to people who believe such objects belong to them as an integral and essential part of their history and their heritage.” Mrs Eleni Cubit, Founder for the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles www.parthenonuk.com
National Poetry Day and the sculptures from the Parthenon
02 October 2014, is National Poetry Day, #thinkofapoem and am sure we can all think of a number of special poems that mean something to us especially with regards the sculptures of the Parthenon.
Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
By British hands, which it had best behoved
To guard those relics ne'er to be restored.
Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved,
And once again thy hapless bosom gored,
And snatch'd thy shrinking gods to northern climes abhorred!
Lord Byron, "Childe Harold"
And from Rose Raikos
Here we sit
parted from our story
We don't fit
Here alone without history
We don't get it
Us three here sitting
Athena Weeps, she grows old with immortal sadness.
The young wisdom goddess, she whispers with sobbing breath
“Return them, my Marbles, bring them back Home.”
Poets hear her pleas, and down through time
songs echo still to quill the pain of hacked stone.
Still heard down through time, yes you know-
Elgin it was a crime.
My Parthenon wears a frown
the crowning glories the histories,
speak of how and why
you stole them, Elgin, thief without a right
you lied for your own plan and glory, so
“Return them, my Marbles, bring them back Home.”
So the weeping goddess speaks
To the hearts of all Greeks and Philhellenes
To the Artists and Poets and Academic Minds
So they speak out against the ignorant kind
The bold who just wish to make gold
From stolen cultural stones that belong
away from dark halls and artificial lights.
“Return them, my Marbles, bring them back Home.”
So they can sit in the light of the Aegean, Attica, and Athens
on the Acropolis and the Parthenon.
“Return them, my Marbles, bring them back Home.”
This echoes into ordinary people’s hearts
Songs will be sung and Mother England one day
Home they will come
For her voice of wisdom
Will stir the spirit of all Greeks and Philhellenes
….as it always has….does now and always will.
“These Marbles are Ours, and they will return.”
Robin Williams.The campaign to reunite the sculptures from the Parthenon, has lost a great yet humble supporter
Tuesday, 12 August, 2014. The day started with the tragic news that actor Robin Williams had died. He will be remembered by the world for his amazing parts in many iconic firms, when he made so many of us cry and laugh as well as reflect on so many levels - Mrs Doubtfire, how could you leave now?
The campaign to reunite the sculptures from the Parthenon has lost a great, yet humble supporter. He will be remembered for his love of all things Greek, not least the sculptures from the Parthenon.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.
And we humbly thank Robin Williams for his support.
...."I go to all the Greek islands ... " , said... Robin Williams. " I have seen archaeological sites that made me think: I can not believe that I am in the country that gave birth to everything we know, everything we read in Greek mythology. Greek history is something that the whole of humanity should respect and bow. Perhaps the Greek economy is going to hell, but this does not mean that you (Greeks) are helpless. Economic data is constantly changing and in Europe and in America and around the world. What never changes is the heritage, your identity. The Parthenon is not leaving Athens. It's there to remind that all this progress and prosperity may return. Today I am in England, for example, and I have nowhere to go. What to see? Buckingham Palace? As and when I go to Germany, I do not care to see the Berlin Wall. But one can not ignore Delos, the Parthenon and Mycenae !", Robin Williams in an interview with Proto Thema newspaper.
Luca Lo Sicco successfully completes his London to Athens bike ride
Dr. Luca Lo Sicco, is Italian and has been living and working in the UK for over 15 years. He teaches at the University of Southampton and with Prof. David Boyd-Carrigan co-founded 'Greece Needs Love'. The aim has been to raise money for art students in Greece and organise an exhibition for Greek artists in London - a Greek Art Biennale. An equally important aim was to join the campaign to return the sculptures from the Parthenon currently housed in the British Museum, back to Greece and the Acropolis Museum.
On 01 July this year, Luca began his cycle run from Bloomsbury, London outside the entrance of the British Mueum.
He was suffering with a summer cold and could barely speak but set off and 35 days and 8 hours later, he arrived in sunny Greece. He travelled through France and Italy crossing by ferry from Italy to Patras and cycling from the west Peloponnese to Athens. Difficult moments were plentiful but what will be a lasting memory for Luca, is the help and support he received from people along the way. All those that asked him what he was doing, were quick to say they too supported the reunification of these sculptures.
Generosity, fairness and respect are values that shape Luca's life, and he firmly believes that the best place to view the sculptures is in the Acropolis Museum. "The return of the marbles to Athens is a historic and moral obligation of us all" concludes Luca.
Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Angela Gerekou, congratulated Luca and presented him with a figurine replica of a dove from the Hellenistic period.
Luca had also decided, prior to starting his journey, that he would donate his bicycle to the Acropolis Museum. In Athens he met Professor Pandermalis, President the Acropolis Museum.
There is no doubt as we followed Luca's progress with his facebook and twitter posts that his infectiuous smile was catching all the way into Athens!
The campaign for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles love affair with cycling began nearly a decade ago with Dr Christopher Stockdale MBE, a General Practioner from the Midlands and member of the British Committee. After he retired in 2003, Chris cycled in spring 2005 from London to Athens to campaign for the reunification of the marbles - five years before the Acropolis Museum was opened.