Send them back: The Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Athens

What's all this nonsense about sending the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece? If Lord Elgin 

hadn't rescued them from the Parthenon in Athens and presented them to the British 

Museum almost 200 years ago, these exquisite sculptures -- the finest embodiment of the 

classical ideal of beauty and harmony -- would have been lost to the ravages of pollution 

and time. So we have every right to keep them: indeed, returning them would set a 

dangerous precedent, setting off a clamour for every Egyptian mummy and Grecian urn to 

be wrenched from the world's museums and sent back to its country of origin. It is great 

institutions like the British Museum that have established such artefacts as items of world 

significance: more people see the Marbles in the BM than visit Athens every year. Why 

send them back to relative obscurity?

But aren't such arguments a little too imperialistic? All this talk of visitor numbers and 

dangerous precedents -- doesn't it just sound like an excuse for Britain to hold on to 

dubiously acquired treasures that were removed without the consent of the Greek people 

to whom they culturally and historically belong? That's what Lord Byron thought, and now 

Stephen Fry is taking up the cause. We should return the Marbles as a gesture of solidarity 

with Greece in its financial distress, says Fry, and as a mark of respect for the cradle of 

democracy and the birthplace of rational thought.

Inga kommentarer:

Skicka en kommentar