Friday, May 11, 2018

Amid Prince Charles' visit, Greece demands return of Elgin Marbles looted by Brits 200yrs ago

Elgin Marbles looted by Brits 200yrs ago
Hosting Prince Charles and his spouse, the Greek president demanded that the UK return the precious Parthenon Marbles, which were seized in the early 19th century by Thomas Elgin and exhibited in the British Museum since then.

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos voiced the request for the return of the Parthenon Marbles in the middle of a visit by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla. The royal couple arrived in Athens for a three-day official trip in a bid to improve bilateral relations between Greece and the UK.

Addressing the Prince of Wales, Pavlopoulos said that "the bonds of friendship" that connect the two countries "makes us hope for the return of the Parthenon Marbles and that the restoration of the unity of this glorious cradle of our Culture will ultimately be successful," as cited by local media.

Britain took ownership of the Parthenon Marbles at the beginning of the 19th century, thanks to then-British Ambassador to Greece Lord Thomas Elgin. Elgin removed the deity statues and up to 50 friezes depicting mythical battles from the once great Athenian temple. They were then loaded on a ship bound for England.

Many have questioned the legality of Elgin's actions, including the authenticity of the documentation that purportedly authorized them. He stated that he had obtained a firman – a decree by the Ottoman Sultan that ruled Greece at the time – which allowed his agents to access Parthenon.

However, several studies suggested that the firman was incorrectly translated into English and that the Sultan did not actually allow the removal of statues and reliefs from the Parthenon....

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