The Instigator
Con (against)
6 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

That the Elgin Marbles should be returned to Greece.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/28/2021 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 153 times Debate No: 127715
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Good afternoon Mr/Madam Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen. The topic for our debate is "That the Elgin Marbles should be returned to Greece. " I strong believe that this statement is false.

My first point is that the Elgin Marbles were obtained legally by both Lord Thomas Bruce the 7th Earl of Elgin and the British Museum. In the year 1801 Lord Thomas Bruce the 7th Earl of Elgin received a firman (which is a written command bearing a sultanic cipher issued in connection with the awarding by the ruler of an appointment or position and an indication of the accompanying duties and responsibilities) from the Sublime Porte (a metonym for the central government of the Ottoman Empire) which allowed his lordship's agents not only to "fix the stonework in the ancient Temple of the Idols [the Parthenon] but also "to take away any pieces of stone with old inscriptions or figures". The Ottoman Empire further legitimised Elgin"s actions in 1802 when Elgin received a new firman re-establishing his rights to work on the Parthenon. Then, In 1810, Another new firman allowed Elgin"s successor to ship the remaining part of Elgin"s collection out of the country. By allowing this, The Ottoman government seemed to reaffirm that the collection was legally removed. As the British Museum"s website states, Lord Elgin "acted with the full knowledge and permission of the legal authorities of the day. " Not only that but a British Parliamentary Select Committee investigated the Lord Elgin claims and subsequently found in 1816 that the Elgin Marbles acquisition was entirely legal. The British Museum also paid for the Elgin Marbles thus making this purchase entirely legal according to the same 1816 Parliamentary Select Committee.

Now to my second point how by keeping the Elgin Marbles in the UK they are in safer hands. During Athens" long history this majestic city has belonged to many different groups and countries. Some of the more recent battles and wars that occurred in Athens include the Greek Civil War, WWII, Greco-Turkish War, WWI, Balkan Wars, Greek civil wars, The invasion of Athens by the Ottoman Empire and a lot more smaller battles. The Parthenon itself has also experienced significant architectural and cultural alterations throughout the centuries. In the sixth century AD, It was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, During which time many of its sculptures were defaced or displaced. In the 1460s, The Ottomans converted it into a mosque. Two hundred years later in 1687, Its interior was blown up in an explosion when an ammunition dump inside was ignited. Its ruins eventually became an attraction as a quarry for local builders. During the Grand Tour of the 19th century, European tourists chiselled away bits and pieces of reliefs and sculptures to take home as souvenirs. Today, The ruins remain vulnerable to Athens"s destructive smog. With so many avenues where these marbles could be destroyed, Stolen or vandalized the risks of keeping the marbles in such a hotly contested area far outweighs the benefits of keeping them in the Pantheon.

So Mr/Madam Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen I ask you what is history? An echo of the past in the future or a reflex from the future on the past. The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history. You can wipe out an entire generation, You can burn their homes to the ground and somehow they'll still find their way back. But if you destroy their history, You destroy their achievements and it's as if they never existed. That's what the affirmative wants and that's exactly why we the negative team are against this topic. These Marbles were never stolen and to the contrary the actions of both Lord Thomas Bruce the 7th Earl of Elgin and the British Museum saved these priceless and historic artefact's from ruin. This is not only a debate about these marbles and where they belong, This is a debate about educating future generations about our history. Life is divided into three terms - that which was, Which is, And which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, And from the present, To live better in the future. That is why the Elgin Marbles must remain in the United Kingdom.


So, The Elgin Marbles should be returned to Greece because I am Greek and because I want it to happen!
Best Regards, Bubicus Lungicus
Debate Round No. 1


Good afternoon Mr/Madam Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen. The topic for our debate is "That the Elgin Marbles should be returned to Greece. " I strong believe that this statement is false.

My first point is education. We all value the essence of education in our world, And recently in the media and news, Education and acknowledgement of our past are buzzwords. People preach teaching our kids about the past. The Elgin marbles are currently in the British museum in London, The museum welcomed 5. 9 million people from April 2019, Until March 2020. That is a massive amount of visitors, And is half of the whole population of Greece. Many people take classes, Friends, And family members to look at the marbles and educate themselves around the history of these events, And it reaches a huge audience around the world. According to condor ferries, Around 30 million people, Pre pandemic, Visit London every year. It is a tourism hotspot and it is so popular, We have to pose the question in this argument, Can we sacrifice the marbles not being in Greece, For the greater good. Education is so vital to our human race, It helps people become better citizens, Get a realization of our world, Shows the difference between good and bad. Education shows us the importance of work and, At the same time, Helps us grow and develop. Thus, We are able to shape a better society to live in by knowing and respecting rights, Laws, And regulations. If the museum respects Greek people, And perhaps informs the people visiting the history of Lord Elgin, Why can't we keep them safe and sound, And be able to generate buzz and income of 5. 9 million people. The museum ensures that the marbles are highly protected and they are showcased in the purpose built, Duveen gallery, A state of the art building, Where there is rope and guards making sure this sacred part of history is not to be interfered with. The museum and Britain respect the history, And the trustees release this official statement whenever the topic comes up.

My second point is what we are educating our generation, And how the Elgin Marbles is more than just an exhibition. As stated before, The museum houses 5. 9 million people every year, So the Elgin marbles have eyes. Everywhere in the world, We have statues, Constructions, And buildings dedicated to ""bad"" people, But it is a testament of the time, And we learn from these things. There are statues of colonizers in many countries, But instead of taking them down and moving them, It highlights the racism and problems, And therefore people learn from it. The Elgin marbles means so much more than just where it stays. The Elgin marbles are sculptures on the east, That tell the tale of the birth of the goddess Athena, While those on the west a battle between Athena and the god Poseidon to determine who would be the patron of Athens. It's a mythical and beautiful story and serves for education on the Greek gods.

There are reasons as to why the Greek or the brits should have it, But why should it matter that it rests in Britain? Even if the treasures were returned to Athens, Many more of the original sculptures are lost forever, Meaning the set will never be complete. So why shouldn't they stay and serve the purpose of education? People hate how we celebrate Captain James Cook, But instead of taking the statue down and moving it, We recognize him as a morally bad man, And we keep it up to recognise this time of history. The British Museum may not be in the right to keep the statues, But it serves a message, About how power, Race and politics played a role in the world many years ago. People will recognize how the Brits took the statue, And it will trigger thoughts, Questions and feelings in their head. It poses the argument and the question, What do we do with controversial monuments. As the Atlantic suggests, They shouldn"t simply be erased. Put them somewhere, With no pedestal, Where, At eye level, They can serve as reminders not just of what a state has done to its people, But of what it still can do if the people forget. I think this serves as the perfect analogy for the marbles, And how they serve as a reminder, And an oh so powerful message. Overall, The Elgin marbles are safe where they are, And I'll leave you with this powerful quote that sums up this debate, A good education is a foundation for a better future.


I Forfeit!

Bubicus Lungicus
Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Leaning 2 months ago
Vote continued. In comments.
But Pro gave no argument but I'm Greek, That's a Greek item, I want it.

Such lackluster argument is bad conduct, And bad argument in my eyes.
Spelling and grammar, Equal enough.
Con used sources.

I don't feel strongly about the subject one way or another.
At the moment.
Posted by Leaning 2 months ago
By the title, I was expecting the Elgin Marbles, To be a number of small spheres, Forgot marble was a rock.

Nice to look at, When I Googled, Elgin Marbles.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Leaning 2 months ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Flaw in Con's argument of how Marbles were acquired by Sultan's permission, might be that Greece did not give permission, a foreign country with power over Greece gave permission for what was not theirs to be taken. Though Con does argue that being in power it was the Ottomans to give, or that it would have fallen into disrepair or been destroyed anyway if Elgin hadn't taken it and that having preserved it he had a right to it. I suppose Pro might have argued, that even if the Ottomans were in power, they were unrightfully in power, and had no right to give away the marble. That the marble is still Greece's by reason of origin. That if the Romans had taken part of Stonehenge to Rome, the Brits might want it back. Con argues of function of education, which Pro might have countered by arguing when a thief uses something, it doesn't mean the thief has a right to that item. That replicas can educate, that traveling to Greece can educate. But Pro gave no such arguments. continued in

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