Repatriation In The Parthenon Marbles

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Museums contain vast collections of art from different places around the globe. Many of these art pieces have been acquired through donations from private collectors or are bought by the museums themselves (‘Collections Management Policy’). With vast amounts of ancient artworks inhabiting these museums, the issue of repatriation comes up. Repatriation is the return of artwork the country in which they originate from. Many nations and cultural groups wish to regain art which they deem important to their cultural heritage which gives them a sense of nationalism. Ancient art has been looted through war, expansion into other territories, and looting through illegal means. This has caused many nations around the world to lose pieces of art which they deem important to their culture. In the case of the Parthenon Marbles, the ownership of the pieces which came from the Parthenon is debated between England and Greece. The Parthenon began to be built in 447 BC with the design help of Iktinos who mathematically calculated the layout of the temple and Phidias who along with other sculptures decorated the building with countless statues and friezes which adorned the temple (Gardner). In the Early 1800s the Earl of Elgin received a permit from the Ottoman Empire which allowed him to remove many of the sculptures (Gould). However, questions over the legality of the permit Greeks have made strong pushes to have the Parthenon Marbles returned to Greece to be displayed in the new Acropolis

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