Where do the exhibits belong? The U.K. side “ Elgin Marbles , ancient sculptures taken from Athens to England in 1806 by Thomas Bruce, 7th earl of Elgin; Consisting of much of the surviving frieze and other sculptures from the Parthenon , a caryatid , and a column from the Erechtheum S old to the British government in 1816 and are now on view in the British Museum . Since then, the Greek government has demanded the return of the marbles. Although British claims are based on Elgin's purchase of the sculptures, Greece has contested this ”
The Greek side &quot;The request for the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles is not made by the Greek government in the name of the Greek nation or of Greek history. It is made in the name of the cultural heritage of the world and with the voice of the mutilated monument itself, that cries out for its marbles to be returned.&quot;
Who was Lord Elgin? Elgin was a Scottish Lord who hoped to do well in politics. At the beginning of the 19th century Lord Elgin was appointed ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. The capital of the Ottoman Empire was in Istanbul in what is now called Turkey. At that time relations between Britain and Turkey were very good. Why? Egypt had been part of the Ottoman Empire until Napoleon, the French general, defeated the Turks and occupied Egypt. The British defeated Napoleon and the French left Egypt. As a result the Turks were very grateful to the British.
Why did Elgin take the Marbles? Lord Elgin wanted to find some ancient Greek statues to decorate his mansion in Scotland. He travelled in Greece, looking for things to send back to Britain. He employed an artist to make drawings of Greek statues and buildings. When he came to the Acropolis he was given permission to remove anything which was lying on the ground. But Elgin decided to take the statues of the Parthenon frieze and send them back to England. As I explained above, this frieze was actually part of the building. It wasn't stuck on. So in order to take the frieze, Elgin had to get workmen to saw the frieze off the building. It also involved destroying parts of the building in order to lower the sculptures to the ground. Elgin did a lot of damage to the Parthenon building. Elgin took about half of the frieze and some other sculptures from the Parthenon. He sent them back to England. After that things went very badly for Elgin. He found himself so short of money that he decided to sell the Parthenon Marbles to the British government. Some Members of Parliament thought that Elgin had done a terrible thing in removing the Parthenon Marbles. However, it was decided to buy the Parthenon Marbles from Elgin and put them in the British Museum. And they have stayed there ever since.
Why didn't the Greeks stop Elgin? When Elgin took the Parthenon Marbles, Greece was not an independent country. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. The Turks ruled in the lands of the Greeks. So the Greeks were not able to stop Elgin from taking the Marbles. Twenty years later the Greeks started a war of independence and soon Greece became an independent country. Immediately the Greeks demanded the return of the Parthenon Marbles, but their request was refused.
Melina Mercouri “ the Parthenon Marbles they are. There are no such things as the Elgin Marbles. There is a Michael Angelo David. There is a Da Vinci Venus. There is a Praxitelles Hermes. There is a Turner &quot;Fishermen at Sea&quot;. There are no Elgin Marbles! “
“ You must understand what the Parthenon Marbles mean to us. They are our pride . They are our sacrifices . They are our noblest symbol of excellence . They are a tribute to the democratic philosophy . They are our aspirations and our name . They are the essence of Greekness . ”
A british pupil’s essay “ In my opinion, the marbles should be returned to Greece simply because they were bribed from the Turkish conquerors and had no right to be removed. They are a very important part of Greece’s ancient history and they should have ownership. It would be ridiculous if some country came to America and took the Statue of Liberty to put in their museum. Not that great museums and art galleries of the world should be deprived of their prized foreign collections but they should at least be obtained in a moral way. ”
The Rosetta Stone So what happened to the Rosetta Stone? How did it end up at the B.M.? Why is it so important to the Egyptian people? What are the arguments of the Egyptian government for its repatriation?