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Forum LockedSupport the Return of the Parthenon Marbles

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2008 at 18:57
Aster, one correction. A Greek state might not exist during those times, but Greeks existed and many of them respected the monuments.

There is a line in the autobiography of one of the warchiefs during the Greek Independence War when he caught two soldiers trying to sell a statue to a European and he stopped them saying:

"These, do not accept to leave our country. For these, we fought the war". And the man who said that was an illiterate man who knew nothing about the ancients except from what he had heard from his parents. Just for the story I will add that he learned how to write in very old age only to write what he saw during the war in oder for people to remember what really happened.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2008 at 19:40
You mean Makrygiannis ,right?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2008 at 19:41
Yeap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Julius Augustus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2008 at 02:09
Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:

It helps that the economic status of most is not low....but there are people that sell antiquities illegally. I once found a broken vaze that is really really old, and I have it in my home, but don't tell anyone.  


vorian, where did you buy this? what age as well? and what country?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2008 at 09:19
Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:

I once found a broken vaze that is really really old, and I have it in my home, but don't tell anyone.  


I'm sorry but i have to report you for this Vorian. Please give me your details and address. LOL


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2008 at 09:33
Originally posted by Aster Thrax Eupator Aster Thrax Eupator wrote:

Quote I think British or anyone else who is not Greek must not vote if the Marbles should be returned in Greece or not. The murbles were made by Greeks (not from British) so Greeks own them. Elgin took them from Greece, they were not found in Britain so Greece owns them. Let's suppose that I'm going in another country and there I find a small statue. If I would take it to my country IS or NOT a theft ?? ! British and Britain have no relation with those murbles. By the time Greeks were bulding Parthenon British were nowhere.   
 
That's really not the point - that logic could be applied to practically every other archeological object outside of it's own country in another musuem. Moreover, what do you define as "Greece" - to state that the national entity that was "Greece" existed when they were taken is sheer folly. Moreover, Elgin actually legally brought the marbles and practically bankrupted himself hiring barges to take them to Britain to prevent them from being ruined. Nobody showed any interest in the marbles then, the Parthenon was decrepit after having no maintence and being shelled by the Venetians in the 1600s in a young country which was still struggling after the Ottoman occupation. If they were stollen, fair enough, but the fact is that the Parthenon marbles were brought from a political entity that does not exist anymore. Moreover, you can't really equate current Greeks - or any other ancient civilisation for that matter - emotionally in a deep sense with the current inhabitants of that country - such beliefs are merely nationalist rhetoric and emotivist banter that don't really constitute anything.
 
However, I am always willing to look at both sides of the story, and after going to the acropolis and seeing the work that's being done on the Parthenon and the pollution in Athens being cleaned up, I think it probably is time to send them back. But here's a tip - watch the rhetoric - when I was up there one of the tour guides talking about the monument of Atallos near the Propylea was saying that the acropolis had been "raped" and that all Greek art had been "stolen" from the acropolis, which is obviously complete rubbish.


In continuation of Vorians addition, we could see it in another way. If the Sultan was not around at that time the Greeks wouldn't allow this to happen. At that time there was nothing they could do, but obviously they did not like it. Moreover they did not see the Sultan as a rightfull person to take this decision. If this was an issue happening today and lets say a corrupted politician tryed to sell those marbles, people would turn the place upside down.

Basically, how some might see it is, that a robber steals you car and sells it to someone that wants to buy it legaly without knowing that it belongs to someone else. Practically that's how people feel, no matter if that applyes to Elgin or not. Moreover, something that is usually not mentioned is that the workers that took the marbles down had nothing to do with archeology or so which resulted a clumsy removal that damaged the marbles to a certain extend.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2008 at 14:08
Originally posted by Julius Augustus Julius Augustus wrote:

Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:

It helps that the economic status of most is not low....but there are people that sell antiquities illegally. I once found a broken vaze that is really really old, and I have it in my home, but don't tell anyone.  


vorian, where did you buy this? what age as well? and what country?


I didn't buy it I found it near my home. Many of the houses in my region have been delayed or stopped cause we find ancient houses when we dig for foundations and the same happened 6-7 years ago.

I was 12 then, I think and gone to waste time looking at the archaeologists and when I played on some discarded soil from the buldozers (the soil that was removed before they found the ruins) during the afternoon I found it.

A broken vaze, earthly color, with some faded design, doesn't really seem a great find. Now time period, I couldn't know and when I found it couldn't care less, I liked to imagine it belonged to an ancient Athenian...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2008 at 14:09
Quote
I'm sorry but i have to report you for this Vorian. Please give me your details and address. LOL


Oh, shoot. Will you keep your mouth shut if I give you half of it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2008 at 08:31
Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:

Quote
I'm sorry but i have to report you for this Vorian. Please give me your details and address. LOL


Oh, shoot. Will you keep your mouth shut if I give you half of it?


I'm not a Greculus to accept such an offer. I have to do what is right. LOL, don't take me serious hahahaha. Cheers


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2008 at 12:13
I didn't ;)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basilikos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2008 at 20:02
I seriously doubt that the Parthenon marbles will be returned to Greece. A thief will always be just that a thief.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jul-2008 at 13:02
In any case, most of the other universities in Europe and the USA have returned their other bits to the Parthenon musuem, so I don't see why the BM is being so difficult. However, can it not be said that by having the Parthenon marbles in the British Museum with other earlier Greek sculptures one can see and track their devolpment as pieces of art by seeing, for example, Assyrian, Hittite, Archaic Greek and Egyptian art pieces which are just a few minutes away? Obviously, however, having the marbles near the building from where they came from is in itself a great advantage, and the acropolis museum looks stunning (although I thought a bit too far a walk from the acropolis itself - but I found it hot and long to walk to, but I'm probably just not used to Greek climate; my people like rain Smile). I'm not really for or against - I'm able to see both sides and I don't think it's that likely that it will ever be resolved any time soon. Can anyone recommend a good book on the debate that I can sink my teeth into?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jul-2008 at 20:29
Heh, what do you expect of people that insist driving in the opposite side of the road?This-post-of-yours-made-no-sense-at-all,-and-I-think-you-are-an-idiot,-but-I-am-so-not-going-to-drop-down-to-your-level-and-admit-it-to-your-face
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aristilus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 10:31
 The Marbles should definately be returned. It was an act of vandalism to steal them in the first place and showed the british empire at its arrogant worst.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2009 at 19:57
Flipper - from my last visit to Greece I gather that even artifacts found on private property is illegal, unlike here in the USA. I suppose even the broken pieces of pottery sherds that can be found here would be illegal to keep there. I am sure there are a lot of Greeks who secretly have artifacts in their homes. I found a deformed piece of baked clay with a charcoal core which I will take to the museum Tuesday to have the curator look at it. (see mystery- under America's forum)

I read a book about the Elgin Marbles and when I read what the curator said, from the British Museum, about their refusal to return them it angered me. He gave some lame excuse that the modern Greeks were not related to the creators of these marbles. Like my old Professor would say, "The modern Greeks are related to the ancient Greeks plus everyone else who came along" and really before. The curator has a Scottish last name so I thought how dare he say this, BARBARIAN!! LOL in a dress!!
Well then, brothers and fellow citizens and soldiers, remember this in order that your memorial, your fame and freedom will be eternal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ericalauren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2009 at 10:26
I've always supported the Elgin marbles being returned to the Greeks. However, I once had to participate in a debate (in an art history class) in which I debated that they should stay in London. I felt like a liar throughout the debate! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akritas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2009 at 11:27
Eight Reasons: Why the Parthenon Sculptures must be returned to Greece

Friday 27 February 2009, by Nicolas Mottas

The date has been announced. On June 20th, the New Acropolis Museum of Athens will be inaugurated, opening its gates to the public. Crouching at the foot of the Acropolis rock, the brand new Museum is consisting the forefront of Greece’s continual effort for the restoration of the Parthenon Marbles. The opening of the 130 million Euro ultra-modern building, which covers almost 14,000 square meters of exhibition space, dismantles the years-long argument that there isn’t a proper place to host the ancient Sculptures in Athens. But, actually, the new Museum isn’t the only reason which advocates in favor of Parthenon’s Sculptures back to Greece - there are, at least, seven more points:

1. Lord Elgin action’s illegality: Thomas Bruce, then British ambassador in Istanbul, did not have the legal right to remove (in 1801) the ancient masterpieces from the Parthenon. Officially, Elgin obtained a ’firman’ from the Ottoman authorities but when the British Parliament asked to examine it, he couldn’t submit it. What he submitted was an italian translation of the official document. I reproduce from an interesting article of the American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, Inc: "Specialists in Ottoman Law point out that the document does not carry the signature and seal of the Sultan or his customary invocation to God, and without them, Elgin and by extention the British Museum have no legal evidence of ownership of the Parthenon Sculptures" (Newsletter, Nov.2008).

Therefore, the argument of the British Museum’s administrations that the Sculptures consist "legal property of the museum" is doubted. How proper is to base the ’legality’ of Parthenon Marbles’ ownership on a translated version of a letter probably produced by a low-ranked Ottoman official?

2. The precedent cases of artifacts restitution: Two years ago, the Los Angeles-based J.Paul Getty Museum returned to Greece a 4th century BC Macedonian gold wreath as well as a 6th century BC marble statue of a woman; eight years ago, in 2001, the same museum had handed back to Italy almost 500 ancient objects. Going back three years ago, in September 2006, the Heidelberg University of Germany handed over to Greece a small piece of Parthenon’s north frieze.

In 2008 the Vatican decided to give back a Parthenon fragment, while on the same year a British court ordered the return of a Byzantine icon which had been stolen 30 years ago from a Greek monastery. Furthermore, during last September, in a gesture of meritorious goodwill Italy gave back to Greece a fragment of the Sculptures which had been acquired by a museum in Palermo, Sicily; its worthy of remark that the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano personally presented the restored fragment to his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias.

3. Complete view of Parthenon: Almost 99% of what survives of Parthenon’s masterpieces is exposed in London and Athens According to Professor A.M Snodgrass of Cambridge University, "among these pieces, the British Museum possesses fifty-five of the fifty-six frieze slabs, all twenty of, the pediment figures and fifteen of the sixteen metopes, nearly 98% in total" (Appendix B, British Committee’s submission to the Select Committee of the House of Commons). But the removed Marbles consist core part of the whole architectural environment of the Acropolis and their position is in sight of the building to which they actually belong and not in the hall of a museum in the other side of Europe. As Professor Snodgrass writes "if the aim is to investigate the meaning attached to the original design as a whole, it would be a huge gain to have virtually all the surviving material in one location" - that location is the New Acropolis Museum, in the shadow of the Parthenon.

The visitor in the renowned British Museum sees some random parts of the Parthenon, along with other ancient masterpieces of other civilizations and historical periods. But if the Sculptures will be exhibited in the modern Acropolis Museum, the visitor will have the great opportunity to appreciate them in their original environment, in sight of the Parthenon and very close to other known ancient Athenian sites (e.g. ancient market, Olympic Zeus Temple etc).

4. A UNESCO World Heritage Site dismembered: The Acropolis’ Parthenon consists a unique case of a crudely dismembered ancient building. What Lord Elgin did in the start of the 19th Century was an action of disgrace, against a monument which stances a landmark of Western Civilization. Because the actual meaning of Parthenon’s appreciation is in its unique universal value as a great symbol of Democracy - therefore, a gesture of respect which would cancel Elgin’s irreverent act would be the restoration of the removed artifacts and the reunification of the twenty-four centuries old monument.

5. Public Opinion’s stance: If the restitution of the Marbles was fully dependent on what people think, then the British Museum should have handed them back to Greece. According to a poll conducted during 2008 by the British Ipsos-Mori firm (2,109 persons in 198 UK locations), 69% of those who were familiar with the issue were in favour of Sculptures’ restitution to Greece, while only 13% expressed opposition. In comparison with a poll conducted in 2002, there is a 7% increase in the number of the British people who support the Marbles’ restoration.

Previous polls, conducted in the United Kingdom during the 90s, had similar results, proving that the majority of Britons (who are familiar with the issue) are in favour of Sculptures’ restitution.


6. International Pressure:
The campaign for the restoration of the ancient masterpieces back to Greece has gained international recognition. From Australia to the United States, significant celebrities from the political and cultural scene, as well as distinguished scholars, have favored the Parthenon Sculptures’ Restitution. International organizations such as the European Parliament and UNESCO have formally supported that aim, while politicians from various countries have expressed their keen interest towards the reunification of the Parthenon.

For example, in the UK, the late Robin Cook, MP and Secretary of State (1997-2001), was in favor of Sculpture’s restoration. The former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, had said that the Marbles "should return home once there is a proper place for them there", while the Labor Euro-MP Alfred Lomas has repeatedly urged the British government to take positive initiatives on the issue. Moreover, in 2000, U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois introduced a resolution (S.Con.Res 127) in which he expressed the "sense of the Congress that the Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Greece".

7. A European Cultural Heritage Issue: Except from a bilateral issue between Greece and the United Kingdom, the case of Parthenon’s reunification is a matter of E.U.’s common Cultural Heritage. On January 1999, the European Parliament adopted a declaration in which it assured its support "for the return of the Elgin marbles to Greece, reflecting the view held by the majority of the British public on this matter and international instruments designating the Parthenon a world cultural heritage site".

According to Professor Francesco Buranelli, the head of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage (Vatican), Lord Elgin’s act "left a deep wound in European cultural sensitivity". That needed sensitivity on Europe’s Cultural Heritage is mentioned in Article 151 of the E.U. Treaty, which stipulates that the Community must support and supplement action by the Member States in order to conserve and safeguard cultural heritage of European significance. The Athens Parthenon is definitely Europe’s landmark monument, epitomizing its historical, political and cultural roots.

Postscript
Published in the American Chronicle and its Editions; February 23, 2009.

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/92096
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