The New Acropolis Museum in Athens
I visited the new Acropolis Museum in August 2010 on two occasions when I was involved in an Archaeological Study Tour of Greece. I was so impressed by the magnitude and force of the structure and what it housed that I returned again to spend a day there in mid September, before returning to Ireland.
Three years earlier in October 2007 I had sat in the theatre of Dionysos and watched the tower cranes slowly hoist the historic artefacts from the old museum on the Acropolis rock to the new museum. It took four months and required the use of three tower cranes to move the artefacts a distance of two hundred and eighty metres without mishap.
It was certainly a moving and a historical moment and I pondered on the fact that these profoundly ancient artefacts, imbued with the history of the ancient past, were being moved with a modern crane to be carefully situated within a modern space. This experience inspired me to write about the museum, its artefacts and displays, and the fact the ancient past was being incorporated into the present day, through the symbolism of a new modern museum. Because I witnessed the artefacts being transported to the new museum, and then visited it years later, I felt a link with the whole process.
Read the full article HERE.
'Give back the Elgin Marbles'
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............it is not dignified in a great nation to reap profit from half-truths and half-rights; honesty is the best policy, and honesty in the case of the Elgin Marbles means restitution. If the latter, and he wrote merely in order to outrival the eloquent, clever and sensible article of Mr. Harrison, it is much to be regretted that he did not consider the great French author’s wise warning: «Qui court après l’esprit attrape la sottise».
The author argues that, beyond the archaeological and aesthetic evidence, the return of the Elgin Marbles is a fundamentally ethical issue.
The European crisis, financial in appearance, is in reality profoundly social, even societal. The problems that Greece has faced and those she is made to face are only the tip of the European iceberg. The number, types and levels of dishonourable shameless attacks on the birthplace of our civilisation should remind the thinking public = you, that Aesop’s lesson (the dogs and the fox) “it is easy to kick a man that is down”,13 is sadly relevant to the situation, in particular to the support from Britons, who pay or don’t pay income tax but advise Greece that if they want to stay in the Eurozone, they should accept the consequences and get on with it! Therefore we Europeans need to reflect on the meaning of the word ‘community’ and start building the group that calls itself the “European Community”. This research report on the Parthenon, a perennial issue since the 1816 parliamentary debate, now needs to be made accessible to a wider audience in the hope that the claims which attempt to justify the retention by Britain of goods received from an occupying power are, at last, seen to be what they really are...
Copyright . Michelle Pépratx-Evans
The Parthenon, before its destruction in part by fire during the Venetian siege, had been a temple, a church and a mosque. In each point of view it is an object of regard; it changed its worshippers; but still it was a place of worship thrice sacred to devotion: its violation is a triple sacrilege.4 (G G Byron, 1812)
Museum's Journal poll June 2012, 73% for returning the Parthenon sculptures to Greece and 24% against
Ahead of the London Colloquy 19 & 20 June, the Museums Journal poll, join the bebate
Final poll result 73% for returning the Parthenon sculptures to Greece and 24% against.
LONDON COLLOQUY 19 JUNE 2012
The Parthenon sculptures: a legal perspective By Andrew Dismore
1 Ownership: who do the sculptures belong to, in law?
The issue of ownership of the Parthenon Sculptures (PS) has vexed politicians, museum curators, campaigners and the public for decades: but does it matter? The way the PS came into the possession of the British Museum (BM). is a matter of relatively settled historical record. Lord Elgin removed them from the Parthenon under an Ottoman firman, the legal effect of which has been hotly disputed ever since. The first argument is that the firman did not extend to the wholesale removal effected by Lord Elgin; and secondly, the Ottoman firman could not and did not lawfully allow the removal of the sculptures anyway. Be that as it may, Lord Elgin shipped the sculptures to his London home. His expenses were substantial, and his subsequent financial difficulties led him to negotiate for the sale of his collections to the BM In 1816, a House of Commons Select Committee considered the authority by which Lord Elgin's collection was acquired, the circumstances under which that authority was granted, the merit of the sculptures and the importance of making them public property and their value as objects of sale. It adjudged the sculptures to have been properly acquired, both fit for and worthy of public purchase, and recommended a purchase price of £35,000, less than half the expenditure claimed by Lord Elgin.
LOBAL COLLOQUY ON REUNIFICATION OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES LONDON 19 – 20 JUNE 2012
Adv George Bizos SC (A member of Johannesburg Bar and The British Committee for the Reunification Of the Parthenon Marbles) 16th Floor, Bram Fischer Towers 20 Albert Street JOHANNESBURG
A LEGAL AND MORAL ISSUE - WAS A VALID FIRMAN ISSUED?
The Modern Greek state is the successor in title to the territory of Greece that was under control of the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the 19th Century and where the marbles were located prior to their removal by Lord Elgin. Greece believes that it is legally entitled to the return of the Parthenon Marbles. Furthermore, it has a clear interest in its cultural heritage, as is reflected in Law 30228 on the Protection of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage in General. In particular that law makes clear that Greece has a duty, to itself and to its citizens, “to care, within the context of international law, for the protection of cultural objects, which are connected historically with Greece wherever they are located.”
Activists from around the world seeking the return of the Parthenon sculptures to Athens have met in London to discuss their strategy as Greece faces troubled times.
"The Olympics are a four-yearly reminder to the world of all we owe to Greece," said former MP Eddie O'Hara - who chairs the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.
The meeting, he added, "ought to remind people in London and throughout the world that there's one debt to Greece that will never be repaid until those sculptures in the British Museum are returned."
By Mary Beard Last updated 2011-02-17
Much of the sculpture that once enhanced the Parthenon in Athens was brought to London by Lord Elgin 200 years ago. Was this the act of a saviour or a vandal? Mary Beard looks at both sides of a fierce argument.
JUNE 2012, Museums Journal
EDDIE O'HARA, Chairman of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles
The Olympic games always remind us of our cultural debts to Greece . London Olympics 2012 brings this particularly close to home. This is why the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles (BCRPM) is organising an international colloquy to link the Olympic spirit with their cause.