13/01/2022

Are The Elgin Marbles Going Home?

A marble fragment that once adorned the Parthenon has been returned to Greece as part of a loan deal The Greek government hopes to make permanent and become a “blueprint” to reclaim the Elgin Marbles.

The 2,500-year-old fragment, the foot of the goddess Artemis emerging from the folds of a gown, has been lent by the Antonino Salinas museum in Palermo, Sicily. If you just keep a bit of a foot it looks weird.

The Italians will receive a 5th-century BC statue of the goddess Athena, which is that women playing tennis and scratching her bum.

Greek culture ministry officials told The Times that the loan of the fragment could be made permanent in agreement with Italy to help “reunite” the country’s cultural heritage.

So maybe it’s time for the marbles to go back. I know they were stolen, they were taken for safekeeping, from the Ottoman occupiers.

The Elgin Marbles, meanwhile, were made the property of Britain by act of parliament and placed in the British Museum’s collection. Give it a couple of years and we’ll be able to use a 3D-printer to make a really good copy. It’s like buying a print of a painting from a museum gift shop. It’s a lot of agro for some marbles you can’t even play with.

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