Out of the candidates in the upcoming UK general election, Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats party has spoken out vociferously in the past in favour of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, as shown in this press release from 2002.
Embargo: 00.01, Wednesday 29th May, 2002
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT SHOWS SUPPORT FOR THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES – RICHARD ALLAN MP
Today, the (Parthenon) Marbles in Exile Conference and Exhibition will take place at the European Parliament. Nick Clegg MEP, chair of the Marbles in Exile Conference, says:
“I am thrilled by the positive response across Europe to this issue. After all, it’s about preserving our common European heritage. It is absurd that the Parthenon monument remains torn apart in this way. Imagine the outrage in Britain if Big Ben’s clock face was taken from Westminster and housed in the Prado museum in Spain.”
Richard Allan MP, initiator of Parthenon 2004, says
“The issue of cultural restitution is gaining more and more importance worldwide. The United Kingdom should not shy away from this debate, which is a natural consequence of increasing international cooperation.
“The Olympic Games will provide the perfect opportunity for the United Kingdom to make such a historic but also forward looking gesture. It will show Britain is firmly committed to being a part of Europe and appreciates the interests of her fellow European countries.”
Notes to Editors
Marbles in Exile, European Parliament
The Marbles in Exile conference will take place on May 29th from 5pm to 7pm. It will be hosted by five MEPs – Alexondras Alavanos MEP, GUEINGL, Dimitrios Tsatsos MEP, PES, Stavros Xarchakos MEP, EPP, Nicholas Clegg MEP, ELDR, Nuala Ahern MEP, GREENS. Mr Poettering MEP, leader of the EPP the largest political group in the European Parliament will participate in the conference.
This will be followed by the inauguration of the photographic exhibition on the Parthenon sculptures by the Greek Minister for Culture, Professor Evangelos Venizelos and the European Commissioner for Education and Culture, Viviane Reding. The President of the European Parliament, Mr Pat Cox, is expected to attend the exhibition, which is presented in collaboration with the Melina Mercouri Foundation and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. It will highlight the parts of the monument which have been separated from the monument.
Speakers at the conference include Jules Dassin (President of the Melina Mercouri Foundation), Prof A Delivorlas (Director of Benaki Museum, Athens), Prof Dr WD Heilmeyer (Director of Archaelogical Museum of Berlin), Jack Lang (Former Minister of National Education, France), Prof St Miller (Dept of Classics – University of California, Berkeley), and Professor A. Snodgrass (Chairman of the British Committee for the
Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles)
Previously, the European Union has made two declarations supporting the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens, the first was signed by 252 MEPs and the second had 347 signatories.
Other European Campaigns
The Belgian Parthenon 2004 Campaign was launched on 13 March 2002 by two Belgian senators, Francois Roelands du Vivier and Paul Wille. They are currently collecting signatures of support for return of the Parthenon Marbles, so far this has numbered a thousand which includes 155 MPs (out of a possible total of 225). The signatories of support from all over Belgium will be collected and given to the UK ambassador in Belgium after the summer.
The Cypriot Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles was launched on April 17th 2002 and in June 18-23 Nicosia will host the marbles in Exile exhibition.
Ministers of Culture and Ministers of Sports of the South Eastern European Countries participated in an informal meeting held in Thessaloniki on 22nd and 23rd February 2002. Here they pledged their support for the return of the Parthenon Marbles back to Athens by the time of the Olympics Games in 2004.
Other international campaigns
On March 21, 2002, the Quebec National Assembly became the first North American legislature to formally express support for the return of the Parthenon Marbles. The following motion received unanimous approval and was supported by the Minister of Culture, ” That this Assembly supports Greece’s request for the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles by expressing its deep wish that this common heritage of the humanity may be returned to its place of origin in time for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.”
There are active and prominent Committees for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles in Canada, Australia, the United States and New Zealand.
You can read more detail about this here.
The Elginism website was set up in 2005 by the International Association's current treasurer, Matthew Taylor, with the aim of ccollating as many current articles relating to the Parthenon Sculptures & the campaign for their reunification in one single location.
This week, the website celebrates its fifth birthday. It now holds over 1500 articles about the issue, along with other related restitution cases.
You can read more about this story here.
The fragment from the Parthenon Frieze which was lent to Greece by the Palermo Museum has now been returned, despite initial hopes that the loan would be extended to become semi-permanent.
CULTURE: PARTHENON FRIEZE FRAGMENT RETURNS TO PALERMO
(ANSAmed) – PALERMO – A ship sailing from Naples has brought a fragment of the Parthenon’s frieze back from Athens where it has been on show since September 2008. The find had first been housed at the city’s old Museum of Archaeology, where it was visited by Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano, before being transferred to the new Acropolis Museum. The art treasure, a piece of stone measuring 34 by 35 centimetres, is being kept in Palermo in a double strong box before being returned to the region’s ‘Antonino Salinas’ archaeological museum, where it has been an exhibit for over a century. The stone is a fragment of Phidias’ eastern frieze of the Parthenon and features a foot of Peitho, the Greek goddess of persuasion. The piece had been part of the collection of a British diplomat before it was donated by his widow to the University of Palermo in 1836; it then passed into the collection of Palermo’s National Museum when it was founded in the second half of the 19thcentury. The fragment will be on view when the Antonino Salinas Museum reopens. (ANSAmed).
Read the original article here.
Pierce Brosnan has expressed support for the return of the Parthenon Marbles in an interview.
Interviewer: I have a question about the Parthenon Marbles which are now in the British Museum
Pierce: The Elgin Marbles?
Interviewer: The Parthenon, as we say…
Pierce: The Parthenon. They Should come back. They should come back. Sure. You should have them. They’re yours.
Read more about it here.
Dimitrios Pantermalis, the New Acropolis Museum's director, has given a lecture about the New Acropolis Museum in New York, to tie in with an exhibition there about the building.
Lecture on New Acropolis Museum in NY
New York (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) — Dimitrios Pandermalis, President of the Board of Directors of the New Acropolis Museum and Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, presented a lecture on “the Acropolis Museum and Its Collections” on Saturday evening at Columbia University in New York, in Schermerhorn Hall at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP).
Pandermalis made a historic review of the landmarks in the search for the appropriate site for the New Acropolis Museum, the obstacles that arose along the way, the excavations that necessitated a change of plan, and the final result that he said enchanted humanity.
Speaking to a packed auditorium, which also included the Museum’s architect, Bernard Tschumi, Pandermalis also outlined aspects unknown to the wider public concerning the entire course from inception of the idea of the New Acropolis Museum to the completion of the project.
Pandermalis also noted the “great advantages” of the Museum, such as the exploitation of natural light, and its roof, which functions as a “fifth facade”.
The lecture was given in conjunction with the exhibition on the New Acropolis Museum running at Columbia University’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery through December 19.
Opening just four months (October 21) after the new Acropolis Museum itself (June 20), the exhibition focuses on the building itself – its innovative architecture and the major role it plays at the nexus of Greco-Roman cultural and archaeological history, according to the organisers.
Sited to be in visual dialogue with the Acropolis, The new Acropolis Museum creates a direct association between the displayed objects and their original context. For the first time, all significant archaeological finds from the area are consolidated into one, state-of-the-art museum, highlighting the importance of the site in shaping artistic expression in Greco-Roman antiquity and its continuing influence on perceptions of Greek art. At the heart of the Wallach exhibition is an array of full-scale casts of prime examples of the sculpture that the museum was built to house, together with casts of pottery that was unearthed during excavations for its foundation. The casts, on loan from the museum in Athens, are complemented by color photographs of the building.
Introducing the exhibition are planning documents from Bernard Tschumi Architects, the firm that designed the museum. These materials include preparatory sketches, working drawings and architectural models. Tschumi, a New York-based Swiss architect, is a member of the faculty of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where he served as dean from 1988 to 2003.
Early archaeological work on the Acropolis is illuminated by illustrated books from Columbia’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. Copies of archival documents from the American School of Classical Studies in Athens outline the pioneering studies of William Bell Dinsmoor, a Columbia faculty member from 1919 to 1963 and one of the few foreign scholars allowed to conduct excavations on the Sacred Rock. Ioannis Mylonopoulos, professor of Ancient Greek art and archaeology in Columbia’s department of art history and archaeology, is serving as curator of this exhibition.
The exhibition winds up on December 19.
View the original article here.