One particularly hot topic in the ancient art world is the unification of the Parthenon marbles. Many of you might be aware that there exists a large collection of the marbles housed in The British Museum and were commonly known as the Elgin Marbles after Lord Elgin, who acquired them in Athens between 1801-1805. Understandably, Greece, specifically Athens, would like them back to be housed and displayed accordingly.
The British Museum argues that since the marbles were obtained in accordance with the laws of the time (before establishment of provenience laws), they own them and since the British Museum is an internationally known institution, more people are able to view, study and learn from them at their current location.
Greece argues that with the summer Olympics of 2004 and the building of the Acropolis Museum, they are now able to house the sculptures and show them appropriately.
Conduct online research on the Parthenon Marble controversy, using the research techniques we learned about in the previous module. What do you make of this? Should the marbles stay where they are in the British Museum or be returned? Why? What about the way in which the British Museum and the Acropolis Museum handle the debatewhat did you learn from the two museum’s websites? How does this controversy showcase the importance of the Parthenon and its legacy?