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Campaign to Return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens

» London

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Having won a place on the fourth plinth in the north west of Trafalgar Square, as part of the “One & Other Project,” nineteen year-old Sofka Smales decided to dedicate her time and space to promote the cause of the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.  On September 12, she stood on the plinth and explained why she thought that the cause was worthy. “I have always felt that the Parthenon Marbles should rightly be returned to their country of origin. Especially now, that a first class museum has been built to house them,” said Smales. Link to the organiser of the event, the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

International Campaign to Return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens: http://www.parthenonuk.com/  & www.parthenoninternational.orgwww.elginism.comwww.marblesreunited.org.ukwww.acropolisofathens.gr

» Paris

The right for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece is highlighted in an article in France’s Le Monde newspaper (Le Parthénon mérite ses marbres) by author and honourary professor of Sorbonne University, Henri Godard who calls on the Louvre Museum to set a “good example”, by being the first to return to Greece pieces of the ancient monument, the Acropolis.  In his article, Godard maintains that the construction of the New Acropolis Museum weakens every argument of the past concerning those who refuse to return pieces, which have been removed from the Parthenon.   Voice of America: French Calling for Parthenon Marbles

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The Black Parthenon

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Black Parthenon is a public art installation at Federation Square, Melbourne, by artist Konstantin (Kon) Dimopoulos. It concerns cultural appropriation, and in particular the Parthenon Marbles, calling for their return. Black Parthenon uses various levels of scaffolding around which black perforated cloth is used as cladding to create an architectural imprint, a silhouette of the Parthenon.  During the day the installation is a black funerary altarpiece that reflects a sense of loss; a void in the national psyche of countries which have had cultural icons and treasures taken away from them.  At night Black Parthenon explodes into vibrant white and blue light, the Parthenon’s iconic simplicity illuminating the surrounding darkness.  Black Parthenon, is part of a larger forum and programme calling for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.  Secretariat General of Information: Hellenic Culture Abroad- Exhibitions- Black Parthenon Installation, Melbourne, Australia & International Campaign to Return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens

The New Acropolis Museum: Opening Online

Fanfare as Acropolis Museum opens

(BBC NEWS)  A glamorous ceremony was held as the long-awaited Acropolis Museum was officially opened in Athens.  (VIDEO)
The modern glass and concrete building, at the foot of the ancient Acropolis, houses sculptures from the golden age of Athenian democracy and offers panoramic views of the stone citadel where they came from. FOR MORE

Greece urges return of sculptures

(BBC NEWS) The Acropolis was lit up as the new museum opened in style. VIDEO Greek President Karolos Papoulias has renewed his country’s call for Britain to return sculptures removed from the Parthenon in Athens 200 years ago.  At the opening of the Acropolis Museum, Mr Papoulias said it was “time to heal the wounds” of the ancient temple. FOR MORE

New Acropolis Museum opens with lavish party

(ASSOCIATED PRESS / By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS) The Acropolis Museum Oppening ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Gods, heroes and long-dead mortals stepped off their plinths into the evening sky of Athens on Saturday during the lavish launch of the new Acropolis Museum, a decades-old dream that Greece hopes will also help reclaim a cherished part of its heritage from Britain. The digital animated display on the museum walls ended years of delays and wrangling over the ultramodern building, set among apartment blocks and elegant neoclassical houses at the foot of the Acropolis hill. The nearly euro3 million ($4.1 million) opening ceremony was attended by some 400 guests, including European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura, and foreign heads of state and government. Conspicuously, there were no government officials from Britain, which has repeatedly refused to repatriate dozens of 2,500-year-old sculptures from the Parthenon temple that are held in the British Museum.  President Karolos Papoulias said Greeks think of the Acropolis monuments as their “identity and pride,” and renewed the demand for the missing marble works, displayed in London for the past 200 years. “The whole world can now see the most important sculptures from the Parthenon together,” Papoulias said. “Some are missing. It is time to heal the wounds on the monument by returning the marbles that belong to it.” Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said the sculptures “will inevitably return,” but ruled out Greece acknowledging the British Museum’s legal title to the works — as requested by officials in London as a precondition for any loan. FOR MORE

Old Videos

The concept of the Acropolis Museum. (VIDEO)   Preparing the exhibition: The new Acropolis Museum . (VIDEO)  Preview of Acropolis Museum (VIDEO)

The BBC for the Openning

(BBC NEWS) News has posted a slide show of the new Acropolis Museum, which opened to the public today (title link). The marble statue of a youth on the right is the famous Kritios Boy (c.480 BC) so named because it is attributed to Kritios. This statue is the earliest known example of contrapposto (counterpoise) a term which refers to the off-centre weight shift of a statue to produce a more natural and relaxed pose. (Praxitelles’ Apollo Watching a Lizard is a fine example of contrappostoCLICK). The Kritios Boy was unearthed in Athens in 1865. Despite its monumental appearance, it is less than 4 feet tall. FOR MORE

New Acropolis Museum the perfect home for Elgin Marbles, say Greeks

(BBC NEWS) Workmen were putting the finishing touches yesterday to Ancient Greece’s newest and most extravagant showcase, the New Acropolis Museum, due for a fanfare-filled inauguration today. But conspicuously absent are the very relics which the €130m futurist building was expressly designed for: the Elgin Marbles.    The airy top floor of the 25,000 square metre museum, offering an unparallelled view of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis a couple of hundred yards away, has been reserved for when the Marbles — as many Greeks devoutly hope — return.  Yet as dozens of dignitaries arrived for the opening that Antonis Samaras, the Greek Minister for Culture, promised would be “a magical atmosphere with musical surprises”, it seemed likely that the Parthenon Hall, as the glass-domed top floor is called, would remain empty for a considerable time to come. FOR MORE

Acropolis museum raises Marbles’ hopes

(BBC NEWS) As the new Acropolis museum opens in Athens, Frank Partridge investigates whether the long-running dispute between Britain and Greece over the Parthenon Marbles will be resolved. Museums are not renowned as places of high drama, but everything about the glassy, angular structure that has appeared at the foot of Acropolis Hill is dramatic. The design is provocative, the contents breathtaking, and its showpiece gallery is intended to deliver a cultural and political thunderbolt as powerful as anything the goddess Athena once threw. FOR MORE

Elgin & the Meaning of the Acropolis

hitche(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Christopher Hitchens, The Elgin Marbles: Should They Be Returned to Greece?, Verso, 1998 “In 1801 Lord Elgin, then British ambassador to the Turkish government in Athens, had pieces of the frieze sawed off and removed to Britain, where they remain. Here Christopher Hitchens recounts the history of these precious sculptures and forcefully makes the case for their return to Greece…” Eleana Yalouri, The Acropolis, Berg Publishers, 2001 “This book looks at the meaning of the Acropolis in contemporary Greece. How are global ideas adopted and adapted by local cultures? How do Greeks deal with the national and international features of their ancient classical heritage? How do the global cultural constructions surrounding the Acropolis become part of local practices which project Greek cultural difference?” Mary Beard, The Parthenon, Profile Books, 2004 “The ruined silhouette of the Parthenon on its hill above Athens is one of the world’s most famous images. Its ‘looted’ Elgin Marbles are a global cause célèbre. But what actually are they?”

Marbles Reunited

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Marbles Reunited is a British, membership-based campaign organisation with offices in central London. It co-ordinates a campaign of activities to promote the case for the reunification of the Parthenon sculptures currently housed in the British Museum, and commonly known as the ‘Elgin marbles’, with the remaining surviving sculptures in Athens, Greece.  This campaign is based on the belief that the Parthenon sculptures are best seen and studied as a single collection within sight of the 5th century monument they were once an integral part of, namely the Parthenon. On this website one may find information on the reunification debate, background to the campaign and information as to the different ways in which individuals can express their support.  The Australian newspaper “The Age” ran an editorial titled “Britain runs out of excuses for keeping Elgin Marbles” on May 13, arguing that “with most Britons supporting the Greek claim, Britain ought finally to return its ill-gotten ‘marbles’ to where they belong.  

Official Visit of Greek Prime Minister to the United Kingdom

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis concluded an official visit to the United Kingdom yesterday (October 20-21). The premier was accompanied by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. Within the two-day visit, the Greek leadership met with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, David Miliband.  Speaking to the press, Karamanlis announced that the financial crisis topped the agenda in the discussions he held with his counterpart. He highlighted Brown’s fruitful contribution to the amendment of the situation at a European level, however, he clarified that Greece will first seek to protect the most vulnerable social strata against the repercussions of the turmoil.  Other topics included the future of the European Union, mainly the Lisbon Treaty, but also the bilateral relations of the two countries with particular emphasis on the situation in the Balkans and Cyprus. With regard to bilateral relations, Karamanlis reiterated Greece’s claim of the Parthenon marbles and their return to the New Acropolis Museum.  Yesterday afternoon, Prime Minister Karamanlis held talks with main opposition’s conservative party leader, David Cameron.  Athens News Agency: Karamanlis discusses global crisis with Brown; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-United Kingdom bilateral relations 

New Acropolis Museum: Video about the Construction and the Transport of the Exhibits

(ORGANISATION FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW ACROPOLIS MUSEUM) This short video provides you with the opportunity to view the later stages of construction of the New Acropolis Museum through to its completion. Both the preparation and transport of a block of the Parthenon frieze is covered including the momentous occasion of its transport and arrival from the old to the new Museum: http://www.newacropolismuseum.gr/webnews/newslist.asp?offset=0&nid=44&lid=2  .  The childrens’s Book “The Museum and the Excavation: Now for young and old“: http://www.newacropolismuseum.gr/eng/ch_book_eng.pdf Continue reading