«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». Melina Mercouri, speech in Oxford Union, 1986.
The ancient sculptures of Parthenon, which today are exposed in London’s British Museum, consist an important part of the Athens Parthenon; a major and symbolic landmark of the Western civilization. Moreover, some of the sculptures themselves are essential not only for the external appearance, but also for the static suffiency of the ancient building, according to recent restoration works on the Acropolis.
Since the decade of 1980s, when the then Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri had demonstrated the demand for the repatriation of the marbles, the various administrations of the British Museum continue to deny any proposal for dialogue on this matter. Nevertheless, there are specific arguments which enpower the support for the restoration of the Parthenon Marbles back in Greece:
first, because in Greece the sculptures will be exposed near the Parthenon facing the Acropolis and therefore giving to the visitor the opportunity to have a more concrete idea of the whole ancient monument,
second, because the Parthenon Marbles consist an integral part of the monument-landmark of the Greek classical civilization. The repatriation of the marbles would support the idea of Parthenon’s complete design and its architecture will be restored,
third, because the New Acropolis Museum is now complete – and therefore the Parthenon Marbles could be exposed and presented there, with equal and even bigger safety than in the British Museum.
During the ages of Lord Elgin, Britain was a world imperial power and Greece just a part of the then Ottoman Empire. Today, 200 years later, the two countries are two developed democratic European Union members, having co-operation in most fields. There has been a big change since then. In the name of Justice and Morality, in the name of appreciation for the world cultural heritage, we call the British government and the administration of the British Museum to work towards the restoration of the Parthenon Marbles. Such an action would, indeed, honour the name and history of the United Kingdom
Nikos Lagadinos, https://diktyon.wordpress.com
- To παραπάνω κείμενο το βρήκα στο blog parthenon-sculptures.blogspot.com,
- Πρώτα «πέρασα» από το ιστολόγιοι του υπερδραστήριου και αεικίνητου Γιώργου Κρόγια http://krogias.blogspot.com/