Bringing the Elgin Marbles Home
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The paper argues that the Elgin Marbles, originally called the Parthenon Marbles, would be appreciated more by tourists, students of art history, and historians if they were replaced in Athens, since the Parthenon frieze tells a pictorial story and is meant to be viewed as a whole. Furthermore, the paper relates that Athens is currently constructing a new museum at the Acropolis that has the potential to raise awareness about the Parthenon, and with the increased revenues this museum will bring the city, Athens has the wherewithal to properly install the marbles. The paper points out that the ethics of Lord Elgin's acquisitions proved controversial even in the early 19th century and concludes that clearly, the sculptures should be reunited and reinstalled in situ for political, cultural, and artistic reasons.
From the Paper:"One objection to the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles is that the British government legally paid for and therefore still owns them. In fact, the British government only paid Lord Elgin. Lord Elgin served as the ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the nineteenth century. Ostensibly, Ottoman officials "granted a permit which allowed the removal of the statues," (Winton House). Yet when Lord Elgin returned to England with his massive lot of classical antiquities in hand, the British government understood the potentially controversial nature of his actions. Members of Parliament had "serious misgivings" about Elgin's actions, as it did appear that Elgin may have been taking unfair advantage of his political post. In spite of these misgivings, a majority rule in the House of Commons authorized a purchase of the marbles in order to display them in the newly built British Museum.
"The British Museum in London, where the so-called Elgin Marbles have been housed since 1832, also claims that "material from the Parthenon was dispersed both before and after Elgin's time." This dispersal is partly related to the poor condition of the Parthenon at the time of Elgin's post, for the Acropolis had already been significantly damaged by centuries of misuse and warfare. While it is true that a smaller portion of the Parthenon frieze remains scattered about in Europe, the British Museum owns half of all the sculptures that survive."
Sample of Sources Used:
- The British Museum. "What Are the Elgin Marbles?" Retrieved online: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/article_index/w/what_are_the_elgin_marbles.aspx
- The Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. "History of the Marbles." Retrieved online: http://www.parthenonuk.com/history_of_the_marbles.php
- "Elgin Marbles." Retrieved online: http://www.museum-security.org/elginmarbles.html
- "Elgin Marbles Index." Retrieved online: http://www.athensguide.com/elginmarbles/
- "The Parthenon Marbles." Retrieved online: http://www.uk.digiserve.com/mentor/marbles/
Cite this Term Paper:
Bringing the Elgin Marbles Home (2013, May 01) Retrieved December 09, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/bringing-the-elgin-marbles-home-152934/
"Bringing the Elgin Marbles Home" 01 May 2013. Web. 09 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/bringing-the-elgin-marbles-home-152934/>