DAILY ART FIX: UK GOVERNMENT REJECTS UNESCO PLEA TO READDRESS OWNERSHIP OF PARTHENON MARBLES

Art world links which caught my eye…

A view of the Parthenon Marbles at the British Museum. Photo: Carole Raddato/Wikipedia Commons.

Parts of the Elgin Marbles

The art world is preening over “decolonizing” these days. Meaning they want museums to return key objects in their collections to the original places of origin. Makes me wonder if those pieces would ever have survived in their original locations, or would have been lost due to neglect or active destruction.

The UK government has rejected Unesco’s recommendation that it reconsider the ownership status of the fabled Parthenon Marbles held in the collection of the British Museum. Following a meeting of Unesco’s Intergovernmental Commission for the Return of Cultural Property to Countries of Origin (ICPRCP) in Paris last week, the organization had urged the British government to investigate the conditions under which the marbles were brought to England, and to consider returning them to Greece. Unesco’s recommendation was a victory for Greece, which first brought the matter to the organization in 1984.

The British Museum received the contested group of sculptures, dating to the fifth century BC and made by the classical Greek sculptor Phidias and his assistants, in 1801 from Scotsman Thomas Bruce, the Seventh Earl of Elgin. Lord Elgin was serving as the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire when he allegedly negotiated with the Ottoman Turks who controlled the region surrounding the Parthenon to bring the objects to England. Known as the Elgin Marbles, or the Parthenon Marbles, these stunning works have been widely credited with transforming the European concept of Greek art; they have since served as the touchstone around which museums interpret and display human culture.

See the full article here: ARTFORUM – UK GOVERNMENT REJECTS UNESCO PLEA TO READDRESS OWNERSHIP OF PARTHENON MARBLES

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2 thoughts on “DAILY ART FIX: UK GOVERNMENT REJECTS UNESCO PLEA TO READDRESS OWNERSHIP OF PARTHENON MARBLES

  1. Exactly. The marbles would have been destroyed, stolen and/or ended up in private ownership if they hadn’t been moved to the U.K. We hear all sorts of complaints from tour guides about this stuff from the Parthenon to Machu Picchu (Hiram Bingham allegedly stole rooms full of gold treasure, this from a Peruvian professor out of Lima). I’m skeptical these countries can care for these treasures today, and I suspect the West will lose control of these items as we all go down in flames.

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