Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The Elgin Marbles


The Elgin Marbles, also known as the Parthenon Marbles, are a collection of Classical Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions, and architectural pieces that were originally part of the temple of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens.

The collection of sculptures and artifacts was obtained in Athens by Lord Elgin, a British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, in the early 19th century. The British Parliament bought the collection in 1816 and presented it to the British Museum.

The Parthenon, or the Temple of Athena was built between 447 and 438 BC.
The collection includes many pieces from the Parthenon, some of which Lord Elgin is said to have asked to be sawed off so that he could decorate his mansion in Scotland. He later sold the pieces to pay off debts.

Britain says that Lord Elgin saved the Elgin marbles from destruction and acquired them fairly. Greece says the collection was looted.
Greek and British authorities have fought over the collection of sculptures for decades. About 65% of the original sculptures from the Parthenon survive and are located in museums across Europe. The majority are divided between the Acropolis Museum in Athens and the British Museum in London, while important pieces are also held by other major European museums, including the Louvre and the Vatican.