September 15, 2009
Do Greece’s ancient treasures belong in London?

The opening of the Acropolis Museum in Greece this summer has reignited a controversy over some of the sculptures that adorned the Parthenon, the most famous monument of ancient Greece. A number of artifacts, including about half of the Parthenon Frieze, now reside in the British Museum — but many Greeks argue they should be returned to Athens.

Lynn Sherr speaks to a group of students at the American College of Greece, who believe passionately the sculptures should be returned to their homeland.

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Sherr also interviews Dimitris Plantzos of the University of Ioannina, who says that the issue is about Greek identity, not scholarship — and holds the view, unusual in Greece,  that the sculptures don’t need to be returned.

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Comments

7 comments

#7

All you concerned people of America may rest assured that London will be handing over state ownership of the marbles to modern-day Athens the very next day after Washington hands Alaska back to Moscow.

#6

[...] World Focus September 15, 2009 Do Greece’s ancient treasures belong in [...]

#5

In reply to comment #3, I have been to Athens. Pollution exists in every major city worldwide, London is no different than Athens or Rome. In fact, in London there is more pollution than in Athens. The reports measure pollution by percentage, but in actual terms, there is more pollution in London. Regardless, this is not the argument here. This adds nothing to the fact that the artifacts have been taken from Greece while Greeks were in slavery by the Turks. In fact, your argument about pollution is null with the opening of the new museum, which I have visited. Facinating building and relics of our ancient past. Return the Greek artifacts to Athens. I also agree with comment #2. Return the Chinese artifacts to China.

#4

RE: Comment #2 The Red Guard would have probably destroyed them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, remember how the U.S. has destroyed so much in Iraq. Lucky that so much of theirs and Iran’s relics are in museums. Even during WWII, the Germans were able to preserve their magnificent Greek, Iranian, Egyptian, and Babylonian antiquities. How much has Israel destroyed in Lebanon?

#3

If you’ve ever been to Athens you’d see how little the Greeks are able to control pollution. It’s not a pleasant city to be in. So, let the Brits keep the relics and continue preserving them.

#2

Similarly, the British also have a sizable collection of Chinese artifacts that were taken/stolen from the Chinese when the Western nations descended upon China in an attempt to dissect China for their own exploitive greed & gain. Ultimately,I believe all of the artifacts which were gained by a questionable nature be returned to the nations from which they were taken. In this case, the Greeks should have their treasures returned to them. The Brits should volunteer this action without having to be pressured.

#1

Of course they need to be returned. They were taken from Greece when Greeks were in slavery by the Turks. The Greeks did not grants this, the Sultan who was occupying Greece did.

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