Saturday 15 February 2014

'Tiffany Jenkins: Parthenon marbles should stay',

The usual selfishly -sanctimonious and time-worn arguments ('Tiffany Jenkins: Parthenon marbles should stay', The Scotsman, 15 February 2014):

Sending the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum to the Acropolis Museum would benefit it and its audiences, but there are good reasons to keep them where they are now, and where have been for more than 200 years – as the centrepiece of one of the greatest collections in the world. In Greece, visitors can see one set of marbles near their original location, where this set-up helps the visitor to imagine ancient Athens. In London, you see them in the context of multiple cultures and world history, which helps us understand their significance. Walking through the different galleries of the British Museum you can see how the civilisations of Egypt and Assyria as well as Persia – the enemy of ancient Athens – contributed to the great accomplishment of 5th BC Athens. In turn, by looking at the similarities and differences between the artefacts from different cultures in the galleries, it becomes evident how this Greek art influenced sculpture from Turkey to India. It is also obvious, here, just how great an impact the Greek culture had on the Roman Empire.
This is also perfectly obvious from any book or website on the subject.  You know, books, those things people used to go to to find things out and attempt to understand the world.  But the Parthenon can only be understood in a future when all the extant bits are back in one place. The empty Duveen gallery can be used to tell a different story.

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