Index

Chinatowns
of the world

Overseas
Chinese

Food culture

Culture/
Customs

Festivals

History

Legends

Poll World

Join Us

About   

Sitemap

Support Us


Chinatowns

Asia
Singapore
Burma
Indonesia
Japan
Laos
Malaysia
Pakistan
Philippines
Thailand
Vietnam
Europe
Belgium
France
Greece
Netherlands
UK
Americas
Argentina
Canada
USA

 

Chinas
China
Hong Kong
Taiwan
Macao


greeceParthenon


grThe Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens is the most important symbol of Greek history and culture as well as one of the world’s greatest monuments. Not surprising, it is also the most important tourist site in Greece.

Completed in 438 BC, the Parthenon was dedicated to Greek Goddess Athena and remained so for a thousand years. After that, the Parthenon’s function changed helplessly reflecting the fluid political landscape of the region. The Parthenon became a Byzantine church, Roman Catholic Church, and an Ottoman mosque.

The Parthenon came under Greek control again in 1832 when Athens became part of independent Greece. However, it did not revert to its original function as a temple to Athena.

The Elgin connection

By this time, the Parthenon had suffered from damages, neglect and looting. In 1801, the British Ambassador Earl of Elgin inflicted one of the most infamous destruction of the Parthenon.

Using a dubious edit obtained from the Ottoman Sultan, he removed sections sculptures now displayed in the British Museum and known as the Elgin Marbles.

Incidentally, in 1860, his son destroyed the Yuan Ming Yuan in Beijing, China causing the destruction and dispersion of enormous collections of imperial art. To this day, the Chinese are working on the recovery of dispersed treasures.

Similarly, the Greek government has lobbied for the return of the Elgin Marbles. In 2009, they opened the Acropolis Museum designed with a special exhibition space in anticipation of the return of Elgin Marbles.

British refusal to return Elgin Marbles

The British Government has refused to return the Elgin marbles with the pretext that they are prohibited legally as well as other reasons including the concern that it may set a precedent resulting in emptying the collection of museums around the world.

The British reasons are rather shallow given that laws can and do change. Once upon a time, it was legal to use opium as a currency for trade in China and so was slave trade. If such laws were changed, so can the laws affecting the return of Elgin Marbles.

Meanwhile, concerns over museum collections should not be at the expense of reuniting the Greeks or other countries with their own heritage.

A flower is most beautiful in its own garden?

Logically, sympathies are with countries whose looted national treasures and monuments become exhibits in foreign museums.

It might have been easier if Greece had claim the Elgin marbles as a religious monument. Nevertheless, the Greeks are entitled to their artefacts.

In fact, with the economic concern surrounding Greece, the return of Elgin marbles might spark an economic boom as visitors from all over the world flock to Greece to view the Elgin Marbles in the beauty of its own homeland.

 

Related pages

chinese historyHistory page

 

grGreece main page

Flames of Yuan Ming Yuan

parthenon
parthenon
acropolis museum
The Acropolis Museum
elgin marbles
Greek community in Australia lobbying
for return of Elgin marbles
parthenon
oathernon

 

 

free counters