Greececonfirmed on Tuesday its readiness to loan treasures to the British Museum in return for being able to temporarily exhibit the Parthenon marbles
but also said the proposal did not alter its long-standing demand for their permanent return.
If you only have a day, make a beeline for the Egyptian treasures, the Parthenon Marbles
and quirky British antiquities such as the Sutton Hoo helmet (one of the most important Anglo Saxon finds of all time) and the Lewis chessmen (six are also on display in Stornoway).
The collector bequeathed his treasures - from mummified pharaohs to the Parthenon Marbles
, controversy surrounds many of the pieces which were the spoils of a colonial era.
The museum has faced criticism for failing to return some disputed items to origin countries, most notably the Parthenon Marbles
, also known as the Elgin Marbles, which Greece has long claimed.
In the dispute between Greece and Britain over the Parthenon Marbles
, removed from the Acropolis and taken to London in the early 19th century, I had unhesitatingly supported those who argued against cultural specificity and defended the universal value of grouping artworks together in world museums.
What is more, if we are thinking about genetic or religious or geographical identity, not only do I have no particular rights to the heritage represented by the Parthenon Marbles
, but in fact the opposite is true.
In fact some damage which cannot be repaired was inflicted on the Parthenon marbles
by conservators in the British Museum many decades ago when they used metallic brushes to scrape their surfaces in the context of the wide spread misconception that classical sculptures were originally completely white in the color of the marble.
Getty Museum, just as the Parthenon marbles
are in the Duveen Gallery at
After leaving politics, he devoted himself to one of his lifelong passions and became chair of the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles
The British expropriation of other peoples' patrimony, from the Parthenon Marbles
to the Kohinoor diamond, is a particular point of contention, as conceding any one item could, the British fear, open a Pandora's box of problems.
The Greeks have campaigned for years for the return of the Parthenon Marbles
; do we care less about ours?
A UK-based group called The British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles
endorses Athens' demand.