Parthenon Sculptures

PARTHENON SCULPTURES 4

ParthenonSculptures

TheElgin Marbles, alsotheParthenon sculptures,are a collectionof conventionalGreek marbles,which wereacquiredby Lord Eglin between 1801 and1805 from Athens owingto his passionforancientart.In 1816, theBritish Parliamentpurchasedtherelics,which are nowstoredin variousBritish Museums eversince.Thesculpturesare subjectto thelongestculturalrows,with Britonsarguingthattheylegallyacquiredtherelicsfrom ancient Greek. According to Britain,Elgin actedinfullknowledgeandpermissionof theOttoman Empire,to removetheremainingsculpturesto preventtheir destruction.Conversely, Greeks maintainthatthemarbleswereillegally takenfrom thecountryduringthe Turkishoccupation,henceshould be takento their rightfulowner,theGreeks. TheGreeks haveevendisputedtheTrustees legaltitleheldby theBritish Museum, arguingthatLord Elgin Might havebribedtheTurkish officialsto stealtheMarbles(The British Museum, 2015).

Despitetheragingcontroversy,theMarblesshould remainin British Museum, owingto theroleplayedby thesemuseumsin thereconstructionof ancienthistory.Museumshelpinthe reconstructionof man’sculturesince past,andtheParthenon sculpturesare partof thathistory.Returningthesesculptureswill forma riftin thereconstructionandwill not be of muchimportancein Greece, since mostof theartwasdestroyed.Wereitnot forBritain, all themarbleswould havebeendestroyedbetween 1821 and1833, whentheParthenon wasattacked,henceshould be giventheduecredit,andallowedto retainthesculptures.TheoriginalTrustee documentwaslost,theItalian translatedversionevidencesthat Elgin gaineda loyaldecreefrom thesultanhencethesculpturesare coveredby The British Museum Act of 1963. Assuch,thesculpturesare heldin trustandcannot be legallyreturnedfrom their collection.Returningthesculptureswould seta dangerousprecedence,allowingothercountriesto demandartifacts that originatedfrom their countries,strippingmuseumsoff their richhistories(The British Museum, 2015).

Reference

TheBritish Museum, (2015). The.Retrieved fromhttp://www.britishmuseum.org/about_us/news_and_press/statements/parthenon_sculptures.aspx