View Full Version : Should we return the Elgin Marbles???

10th Aug 2001, 13:52
Well, what do we PPRuNEr's think?

Should these antiquities be returned to thier rightful owners in Greece?

Or should we keep 'em here in UK?

IMHO, they should go back. There were a lot of dodgy dealings back in the 19th century by upper class English 'Del Boys' who should've known better. Anyone remember the series 'Plunder' on C4 a few years ago? :rolleyes:

There was the arguement that Greece was an unstable country, and we kept 'em for safekeeping. Well, it isn't now - a NATO ally and EU member. It would prob do our relations with them a lot of good - they might even reduce the price of ouzo!!! :D :D

At the end of the day, it isn't our heritage, so why should we pay for it's upkeep?

[ 10 August 2001: Message edited by: swashplate ]

tony draper
10th Aug 2001, 14:28
Yes,Paris has never been the same without
them,people would flock back to Turkey to see them if they put them back on that leaning tower where they belong. ;)

10th Aug 2001, 16:15
Where I come from marbles are called "alleys" for some reason, but I never knew the Greeks played alleys. Are they any good at conkers? How did Elgin get his alleys confiscated? Did he play with them in his pocket like Spotty Edwards? At least, that's what Spotty said he was playing with. In his pocket. Spotty was a bit Greek, if you know what I mean...

More Talisker? Don't mind if I do, hic!

Through difficulties to the cinema

10th Aug 2001, 16:23

This is a tricky issue.

If the Elgin Marbles are returned, they will presumably suffer the same damage due to environmental pollution that has occurred to the remaining limestone figures and architectural masterpieces so painstakingly restored by the modern Greeks.

If they remain in Britain, in a secure museum environment with the best treatment conservators can arrange, their undoubted beauty will last a great deal longer although only a relatively small number of people will actually see them (i. e. the number of interested visitors to the museum versus the number of tourists who visit the Acropolis).

Not sure which way the scale tips on this one. As a diplomatic gesture, the return of the statues would be noble indeed, but trying to protect the fragile beauty of the figures from the ravages of 21st century pollution around Athens might end up being the greater of two evils.

Tricky Woo
10th Aug 2001, 16:34
Has someone removed the Elgin Marbles? If so, then I fully agree, they must be returned to their rightful place in the British Museum at once.



tony draper
10th Aug 2001, 16:35
I suppose at the time it was the done thing,it was justified by
"What the hell do these Greeks know about classical sculpture, they'l only break them, better take them back to blighty for safekeeping".
The Greeks have far more claim to them than us, we could make perfect facsimilies of them and put them on display, likewise put copies back on the Parthenon?.
How would the Scots feel if Greece had Wallaces sword, or us Limey's if France had the Lindisfarne Gospells.
I think a nations heritage is important.
I dont suppose any of use could tell the difference between a copy and the real thing.
How about when the Indians start wanting the khohinor diamond back, I suppose it will set a precedent.

gas path
10th Aug 2001, 18:38
Hey! TD are them there Lindisfarne gospels the ones with 'Fog on the Tyne' on?
As for the marbles I'm sure someone could knock up a set and post 'em back! They'd never know :D Anyway as soon as the Acropolis has been rebuilt it'll probably be turned into an ammo dump again ;)

On second thoughts their rightful place is Greece, and I'm sure the Greeks would look after them. They have spent a lot of time and effort on preserving the remains of the Acropolis.

[ 10 August 2001: Message edited by: gas path ]

tony draper
10th Aug 2001, 19:59
Parthenon, couldn't think of that bloody name.
eeeaaawww :o

Tartan Gannet
10th Aug 2001, 20:13

Chimbu chuckles
10th Aug 2001, 20:43
TG WHY? Or do you still think the larger part of the globe is pink?

Chuck. :rolleyes:

tony draper
10th Aug 2001, 20:49
I think those dammed rebelious Americans should give us our Virginia colonies back.
Pay their back taxes and stop throwing perfectly good tea into the ogan.
I'll have the skin off their backs when I get my estates returned to me..
Next time we send Sharpe and his chosen men . ;)

[ 10 August 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

10th Aug 2001, 20:51
Tartan Gannet has a natural empathy with anyone who has lost their marbles.

He's been there, done it.

You want it when?
10th Aug 2001, 20:52
Course we shouldn't. Not because the globe is pink but because it happened a long time ago (OK tenuous). However a line has to be drawn delimiting what is historically acceptable. Should the British Museum return all their Egyptian artefacts? A lot of gold plate in the possession of the churches was stolen from Spanish Man-of-War in Elizabethan times. Should that go back?

The Elgin Marbles belong to the UK now - and I agree with the early post we will look after them a dam site better.

10th Aug 2001, 21:00
U_R - love it... :D :D :D

Hmmm....thinking about it.....P'raps we should 'do a deal' instead of just GIVING them back.

We return 'em if Greece agrees to:

1. Install radar coverage in thier airspace and improve aviation safety generally. UK avionics firms to get priority of course!!

2. Reduce the price of ouzo!!!!!!!!!

Send Clowns
10th Aug 2001, 21:05
Um, then should the French send the Mona Lisa back to Italy? The British museum and V&A send all the Egyptological artifacts back to Egypt? Repatriate all the objects of foreign origin from the Smithsonian? Send all Archaeopteryx fossils back to Germany?

The Elgin Marbles are not unique in ownership situation or in archaeological importance. Their repatriation cannot be demanded in isolation.

tony draper
10th Aug 2001, 21:08
The native Americans have become powerfull enough to demand most of their historical arifacts from museums world wide, they have the American government to back them,, ie the Ghost shirt from a museum in my neck of the woods.
Thats the problem, returning the elgin marbles would likely cause a gold rush.
I watched Nanna Maskuri give a very good account of herself and Greece's cause a few years back in a debate on the elgin marbles and she changed my mind on the subject, it just shows us grumpy old men can be influenced sometime.
For the rest, if other countries start demanding every thing of theirs back,not sure what we could do about that.

10th Aug 2001, 21:10
I fully agree.....All artifacts that have been plundered should be returned.

In that way... the Welsh will return as the rightfull owners of England...plundered from us by them [email protected]@dy Romans

Kaptin M
10th Aug 2001, 21:12
Well you ain't gettin' 'The Ashes'back that easily, and God knows you've been trying hard enough fo a hundred years!!

Play it out the sportsmans' way....marbles for marbles, and see who loses his marbles, first!

11th Aug 2001, 01:47
Yeah Kaptin?

Well we might just ask for our game back then and we'll have our rugby back while we're at it! :p

Let's see you be world champions at everything if you've got nothing to play!

11th Aug 2001, 08:30
I think Send Clowns has hit the spot. All these ancient artifacts belong to no-one. They are are part of human heritage. They are in museums where they can be viewed by the public and studied by academics and above all, protected and preserved. All these things should remain right where they are. The Mona Lisa doesn't belong to France nor does it belong to Italy. The marble carvings from the Parthenon don't belong to Britain or Greece, nor were they ever really Elgin's property. The Acropolois may be on sovereign Greek territory but they are responsible to all of mankind for taking care of it. It was failure to do so that cost them the glory of their, and our, heritage in the first place.

I say The Marbles stay...

Through difficulties to the cinema

(Spotty never got his back either...)

13th Aug 2001, 13:20
Swashplate Hi,

the Greeks are still unstable and would not be able to begin to understand how to say " Thank you", after all they were bought "Fair and Square" wer'nt they?

Alternatively we would give em back when the Aussies give Oz back to the Abbo's!
:D :D

13th Aug 2001, 14:03
Thanks to all for interesting replies.

Personally, I still think they should go back. They are part of greek antiquity rather than our celtic/pitctish/angle/jute/saxon/roman etc etc heritage. I stand by my original point - why should we pay for upkeep!
Again, I repeat that it would do relations with that country no end of good. Look at the fuss the greek cypriots are making over the RAF base on cyprus.

It's not a simple black and white thing (what ever is? :rolleyes: ) of course, but on balance, thats what I think.

[ 13 August 2001: Message edited by: swashplate coz 'e can't do graphics properly :rolleyes: ]

[ 13 August 2001: Message edited by: swashplate ]

13th Aug 2001, 16:31
While you all appear to be in the mood of giving things back to make amends for mistakes made by the British Empire……. Do you think that you could also give the island of Ireland back to the Irish?

Mutt….. :)

13th Aug 2001, 17:10
IMHO yes, mutt.

But after REFERENDUM, not just at the say so of the Political elite.

There's no Oil there anyway!! :D :D :D

........but seperate thread, methinks.

tony draper
13th Aug 2001, 17:59
Come to think about it.
Give us back our Lindisfarne Gospels, you southern fops,when they were written, nobody south of the Humber could read. ;)