Why does England still have the Parthenon Marbles?
In 1801, Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, started removing, many say looting, priceless marble statues from the Parthenon and Acropolis area of Athens, Greece.
The British government defends its claim to the marble statues by saying that Elgin had a ‘permit’ from the occupying Ottoman forces at the time.
But the question still remains. Why does England still have the Parthenon Marbles? They clearly don’t belong in England. To make a parallel, if parts of Stonehenge (provided that any Greek would think Stonehenge pretty enough to lay claim to) were dismantled, transported by ship to Greece and put on display in an Athens museum, what would British authorities do? Protest? Sue? Of course they would.
A great deal of Athen’s history and mythology is represented in the Parthenon Marbles, and in the opinion of this reporter, it is time the British government bit the bullet and gave back what rightfully belongs to Greece.
If they did this, there would be an incredibly strong bond forged between Britain and Greece, a sense of a wrong righted and a new beginning in relations between the two countries.
It would show respect to other countries’ cultural heritages, it would be a magnanimous gesture and would restore part of Greece’s rich history to the Greeks.
It’s time to bring back the Parthenon Marbles to where they belong. They did not belong to Elgin or any other individual, they belong to Greece and its people, who would willingly share them with the world if they were returned to their rightful home. Very much the way they share the Olympic flame which will this year light up the 2012 Olympics in London.
Author: Sarah Fenwick | Source: Cyprus News Report [January 07, 2012]