International Cultural Assets in UK Museums: Return of the Elgin Marbles from Greece

1957 Words Feb 4th, 2018 8 Pages
The Elgin Marbles are stated to continue to be the focal points of an ongoing debate that will ultimately determine the historical influence of a particularly important culture. The Parthenon Marbles are reported to constitute "a unique case in that they form part of a unique historical monument which for humanity, and international public opinion, symbolizes civilization and democracy, but for the Greek people much more than that. For the Greek people they symbolize our history and the continuity of the Greek nation." (TED Case Studies, nd, p.1)
I. The Marbles Arrive in England
The arrival of the marbles to England resulted in commercial bargaining between Lord Elgin and the British government with the British Parliament condemning Elgin for "robbing antiquities and destroying monuments after debating his rightful claims to ownership and his actions." (TED Case Studies, nd, p.1) The decision was made by the Parliament in a vote that was 82 to 30 to purchase the marbles from Elgin for 35,000 pounds and when the purchase was made, they gave them to the British Museum, where the marbles are still maintained as one of the most important collections of the museum. It is reported that of the 97 surviving blocks of the Parthenon frieze "56 are in the British Museum and 40 are…

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