Monday, July 1, 2013

Seeing Pieces Of The Parthenon Across Three Countries

While visiting The Parthenon and its companion, The Acropolis Museum, we saw many of the marble sculptures that once adorned the inside of the temple to Athena.  

But famously many of the sculptures that were in the best condition were taken from Greece by the Earl of Elgin and transported back to England.  The sculptures eventually made their way in the British Museum collection and are on display in London.  

The Acropolis Museum did not allow photographs to be taken of the exhibits so this was the first chance that I had to take some snaps of theses great works.

Not surprisingly the pieces that were taken from Athens were the most complete and in the best condition of the sculptures that were remaining.

You might be able to notice by the tiny numbering under the pieces there is a gap in the pieces between #53 and #67.  Those pieces can be found at the Acropolis Museum as well as in France [more on that in a minute.]

The Greek government has for years attempted to get all the taken pieces returned home to Ahtens and I can't help but feel the same way after seeing them in London.  

I'll have a more complete post on our visit to the the British Museum at a later date but it's clear that the very existence of the collection is based on an abusive mercantile system that plundered many of their "conquered lands."    

To complete our Parthenon sculptures odyssey our next step was France.  While visiting The Louvre we tracked down the single Parthenon marble that is on display there.  

The museum has posted an information sheet next to the sculpture explaining that their claim on the piece occurred after the British pieces were taken from Greece.  They also argue that their claim on the piece is more legitimate than the British Museum's claim.  Who really knows for sure?  My opinion is that they should all be returned to Greece.  

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