Officially, Elgin obtained a ‘firman’ from the Ottoman authorities but when the British Parliament asked to examine it, he couldn’t submit it. What he submitted was an italian translation of the official document. I reproduce from an interesting article of the American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, Inc: “Specialists in Ottoman Law point out that the document does not carry the signature and seal of the Sultan or his customary invocation to God, and without them, Elgin and by extention the British Museum have no legal evidence of ownership of the Parthenon Sculptures” (Newsletter, Nov.2008). Therefore, the argument of the British Museum’s administrations that the Sculptures consist “legal property of the museum” is doubted. How proper is to base the ‘legality’ of Parthenon Marbles’ ownership on a translated version of a letter probably produced by a low-ranked Ottoman official?
The Parthenon sculptures have always belonged to Greece and the Greeks were free to do with them as they chose. The British Museum has no excuse to hold on to them and repatriation of the sculptures is long overdue. They have no place in Britain and frankly, I don't think they ever did.
They don't belong to Greece but they don't belong to the British either. The British 10 years ago, would not return the marbles with the argument that our museum was not big enough to hold them. Well now we have an amazing museum right under the Acropolis were those marbles were born. What is your argument now??
Those artifacts were created in Greece and should return there. They don't belong to Greece because a piece of art doesn't belong to anyone, only to humanity, but they should be in their birthplace, exposed under the Parthenon in the Acropolis museum, near the place that they were put thousand years ago.
Yes, Greece should get back the elgin marbles, because they are Grecian sculptures. The sculptures should be best in Greece because they are the most likely to do the best job taking care of them. The elgin marble are an important part of Greek heritage, and as a kind gesture to the Grecian people, we should give them back to their original owners.
Without a doubt, the Elgin Marbles should be returned to Greece. They were originally taken from Greece, even though that's where they belong. Britain should return these marble sculptures and make amends with the people of Greece. There's no reason that Britain should hold onto these sculptures at the moment.
The Elgin Marbles receive their name from the British lord who craftily spirited them away from Greece. Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin and ambassador to the Ottoman Empire — occupiers of Greece in the early 19th century — grew to admire the Parthenon's extensive collection of
ancient marble sculptures and began extracting and expatriating them to Britain in 1801. Lord Elgin claimed his imprimatur from an Ottoman sultan, who said he could remove anything from the Parthenon that did not interfere with the ancient citadel's walls. I think they should get them back.
Greece should get back the elgin marbles. They were the originals owners of the elgin marbles, and had them taken away from them with no just cause, They belong with Greece, and the elgin marbles should be returned to them because it is the only thing and right thing to do.
1. Britain owns them legally.
2. If Elgin hadn't taken them, they would have been destroyed like the other sculptures.
3. No one country owns history.
4. Greece didn't own them anyway, Athens did.
5. They are more accessible in England for the public and free to view as well.
I think you mean the Parthenon Marbles. They were removed by the Earl of Elgin in the early 1800s and have been on display in England ever since. I think considering how much the Greeks have squandered their own historical heritage for cash over the decades that return of the marbles really doesn't make a difference.
The previous 200 years of Greecian history should prove that the country is reasonably unstable politically and economically. What assurances do preservationists have that the Greek gov't (a term in constant flux) can trully see to the protection of these timeless artifacts of Western Civilization ? Should they return eventually? Absolutely. Should they be returned now? Absolutely not. Until Greece has proven itself as a stable nation capable of this immense responsibility to history I can't support their return.
Getting removed, legally under Ottoman law, was the best thing that happened to the Elgin marbles. Because they were removed they were spared from a lot of instability and war in Greece that went on for decades. Furthermore, the Greek financial crisis makes it dubious that the Greek government would have the resources to transport and adequately protect and care for these sculptures. They probably wouldn't have survived at all if they hadn't been taken to Britain. The British Museum also attracts about 6 times the number of annual visitors that Athens' Acropolis Museum gets. So not only are they safer and not a financial strain on an ailing government, they are being visited by a lot more people where they are now.