On Wednesday, October 19 at 19:30 GMT:
For decades, the controversy over the Parthenon marble has served as an ongoing case study in the debate over whether museums should send artifacts back to their countries of origin. Now a new one British Advisory Council has said it wants to make a deal to return the marbles taken from the Greek Acropolis in the early 1800s.
About half of the Greek Parthenon marble has been in the British Museum’s possession for the past two centuries. The controversial sculptures were created 2,500 years ago and depict figures from Greek mythology. In the United Kingdom, the sculptures are also known as the Elgin Marbles, after Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, who robbed the Parthenon of half of its original marble artwork in 1801 during Ottoman rule.
The British Museum has proposed a partial deal, but not a full repatriation. The museum states that the sculptures were obtained legally and for preservation. In a statement from the curators of the British Museumthe sculptures of the Parthenon are a “vital element” in the museum’s “interconnected world collection” and “part of the world’s shared heritage”.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview with The Sunday Times this month that his country will again ask for the return of the Parthenon marbles during an official visit later this year. Shortly after his comments, then British Prime Minister Liz Truss said she did not support the idea of returning the marbles to Athens.
In this episode of The Stream, we discuss the latest in the long-standing controversy over the Parthenon marbles.
In this episode of The Stream we speak with:
Yannis Andritsopoulos, @iandritsopoulos
London correspondent, Ta Nea
Member, British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles
Elly Symons, @ellymariasymons
Vice President, Australian Parthenon Commission