The removal of the sculptural elements from the Parthenon
Furthermore, these architectural members were removed from the monument - actually hacked off, - without the consent of the Greek people, who at that time were still under the Ottoman occupation. Shortly after the removal of the sculptures the Greeks began their war of independence and with the help of Western powers, including Britain, gained their freedom and established the new independent nation state of Greece in 1830.
Lord Byron was one of the greatest supporters of the Greek war of independence and died at the siege of Messolonghi in 1824. He was also one of the first and most virulent critics of Lord Elgin's actions.