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Elgin Marbles could return to Greece under 'Parthenon Partnership' to establish 'cultural exchanges'

More than 200 years later, the Elgin Marbles could be returned to Greece as part of the ‘Parthenon Partnership’ proposed by the Deputy Curator of the British Museum.

The marble is made up of 17 marble statues and is part of the frieze that adorned the 2,500-year-old Parthenon on the Acropolis, made by the sculptor Phidias.

The sculpture was brought out by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century, when he was British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and has since been the subject of a long-running debate over where to display it.

The Elgin Marbles are now on display in the British Museum, but the Greek government has been demanding their return for years.

About 260 feet (80 meters) of marbles are in London, but Athens has a smaller section of 164 feet (50 meters).

In an interview with The Sunday Times Culture magazine, deputy curator Jonathan Williams said the British Museum wanted to “change the temperature of the debate” over marble artwork.

The British government has agreed to UNESCO-supported talks on the return of the Elgin Marbles, which are on display at the British Museum.

The Elgin Marbles (pictured) were created by Phidias, a Greek sculptor, architect and sculptor whose statue of Zeus, the god of the sky in ancient Greek mythology, was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is a collection of 17 figures of classical Greek marble sculptures.old world

The Elgin Marbles (pictured) were created by Phidias, a Greek sculptor, architect and sculptor whose statue of Zeus, the god of the sky in ancient Greek mythology, was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is a collection of 17 figures of classical Greek marble sculptures.old world

The Elgin Marbles were taken from the Parthenon in Athens between 1801 and 1812 by Lord Elgin, then British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and are now on display at the British Museum (pictured).

The Elgin Marbles were taken from the Parthenon in Athens between 1801 and 1812 by Lord Elgin, then British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and are now on display at the British Museum (pictured).

“What we are looking for is a positive ‘Parthenon partnership’ with our friends and colleagues in Greece,” Williams said.

“I firmly believe there is room for really dynamic and positive conversations where we can find new ways to work together.”

Taken in 1801, the British Museum has denied earlier suggestions that the marbles were “hacked” from the site of the temple.

Dr Jonathan Williams, Deputy Director of the British Museum said:[They were] In fact, it was removed from the rubble around the Parthenon.

“Not all of these objects were hacked from the building, as has been suggested.”

The museum’s attempt to reject a historical account of the sculpture’s acquisition has been challenged by classicists.

A letter written by a subordinate to Lord Elgin in 1801 seems to support the Greek version of the events, and Giovanni Battista Lucieri described the removal of some sculptures from the Parthenon as “a little barbaric.” I was forced to do this,” he confesses to his master.

The British Museum has not said it will return the sculptures, and Williams insists they are an “absolutely integral part” of the collection.

But he said he wanted to “change the temperature of the discussion”, adding that all sides need to “find ways to move forward on cultural exchanges of previously unthinkable levels, intensity and dynamism”.

He added: that is our job.

The Greek prime minister has repeatedly demanded that the Parthenon marble be returned to Greece, and in return has even offered to lend some of Greece’s other treasures to the British Museum.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated that Greece is open to negotiations, but said, “Small steps are not enough. We want to take big steps.

Nikolaos Stampolidis, director of the Acropolis Museum, also said the proposal for “a positive partnership with the Parthenon” could be a “foundation for constructive discussions.”

He added: “In the difficult times we live in, returning them would be a historic act.

“It’s as if Britain is restoring democracy itself.”

Nikolaos Stampolidis, director of the Acropolis Museum, said the proposal for “a positive partnership with the Parthenon” could provide a “foundation for constructive talks,” according to The Telegraph. reports.

“In the difficult times we live in, giving them back is a historic act. It’s as if Britain is restoring democracy itself,” he added.

A Long-Running Historical Controversy: What Are the Elgin Marbles?

The Elgin Marbles is a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions and architectural elements, mostly created by Phidias and his assistants.

Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, removed fragments of Parthenon marble from the Acropolis of Athens while serving as British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1799 to 1803.

In 1801, the Count claimed permission from the Ottoman authorities to remove fragments from the Parthenon.

Since the Acropolis was still an Ottoman military fortress, Elgin needed permission to enter the site.

His agents then removed half of the surviving sculptures, building elements and sculptures from the Propylaea and Erechtheum.

Excavation and removal was completed in 1812 at a personal cost of around £70,000.

The sculpture was shipped to England, but in Greece a Scottish nobleman was accused of looting and vandalism.

They were purchased by the British government in 1816 and placed in the British Museum. They are still on display at the dedicated Duveen Gallery.

Greece has been trying for years to get it back from the British Museum, to no avail.

The authenticity of Elgin’s permission to remove the sculptures from the Parthenon is widely disputed, especially since the original documents have been lost. Many argue that it is not legal.

However, some argue that the Ottoman Empire had ruled Athens since 1460, so their claim to the relics was legitimate and recognizable.

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