It took me a while to get into this book and it suffers a bit from the author presuming that one knows the significance of any one event or meeting but overall is an interesting read. The elgin marbles, designed and executed by phidias to adorn the parthenon, are some of the most beautiful sculptures of ancient greece. Critical essays on cultural property, art and law, second edition. Based on a detailed study of both original records and recent discoveries, lord elgin and the marbles is the authoritative historical account of the extraordinary circumstances in which the elgin marbles were acquired, of the tremendous impact which they made on modern appreciation of greekart, and of the bitter reaction of napoleon, byron, and many others to their appropriation. Lord elgin, a staunch patriot, had turned down lucrative offers from other governments for the treasures, and argued all along that the marbles would add luster to britains imperial image. Online shopping from a great selection at books store. Greek singer hellena chose this day to present a song to the world about the parthenon marbles aka parthenon sculptures, dedicated to support the just cause of their repatriation to greece since the looting of the parthenon by lord elgin in the early 1800s. Why was lord elgins acquisition of the parthenon marbles. Melina mercouri, actress and politician ever since the sculptures from the parthenon arrived in england at the beginning of the last century, they have caused controversy. In 1801 lord elgin, then british ambassador to the turkish government in athens, had pieces of the frieze sawn off and removed to britain, where they remain, igniting a storm of controversy which has continued to the present day. Just over 200 years ago, when lord elgin acquired them, the ottomans ruled greece.
After concluding that the marbles were suffering in situ, he removed the pedimental sculptures, metopes, and portions of the frieze to return to england. A deal was struck for their purchase in june of 1816 when lord elgin sold the marbles to the british government. The objects were removed from the parthenon at athens and from other ancient buildings and shipped to england by arrangement of thomas. Should the parthenon marbles be returned to greece. Since they went on display in the british museum in 1817, artists, scholars, poets and millions of visitors have stood before them in wonder. As a result of lord elgins crude and often destructive plundering of the parthenons marble. How the parthenon lost its marbles history magazine. The elgin marbles or the parthenon marbles geri walton. The parthenon marbles were takenor rescued, depending on your point of viewfrom the acropolis by lord elgin in the early nineteenth century and now reside in the british museum. I wrote my senior thesis on the legality of lord elgins acquisition of the marbles and this book gave me great insight into the entire story behind it. Elgin marbles, collection of ancient greek sculptures and architectural details in the british museum, london, where they are now called the parthenon sculptures.
Are these sublime emblems of the periclean age a 19thcentury british lords oxymoronic legitimate pillage, or should they be recognized by now. Why the british museum sculptures taken from the parthenon are so controversial the acropolis museum in athens is keeping a space empty for the 2,500 year old. In 1857, he was appointed high commissioner and plenipotentiary in china and the far east. They were originally part of the temple of the parthenon and other buildings on the acropolis of athens. Clair as much a biography of elgin as an account of how the parthenon marbles came to find themselves in the british musum, this book reveals some of the complexities of the issues which sometimes tend to get overlooked. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Publication date 1983 topics elgin, thomas bruce, earl of, 17661841. Clair, is an extremely well written account of the removal of the marbles from the frieze of the parthenon acropolis of athens, greece, about two centuries ago, by lord elgin, and their transport to england. The parthenon sculptures collected by lord elgin nearly 200 years ago rank amongst the highest achievements of mankind. In 1801, lord elgin, then ambassador to the turkish government, had chunks of the frieze sawn off and shipped to england, where they were subsequently seized. The elgin marbles, by dorothy king the independent.
The elgin marbles by dorothy king books the guardian. Ever since the marbles were brought to britain, they have incited passionate debate. It was later sold to the british museum of art where it still resides. Of the items that lord elgin, took from atop the acropolis, it is estimated that he looted some 247 feet of frieze from the parthenon, what is commonly referred to today as the socalled elgin. This book is more about the mistress, than the elgin marbles. Based on a detailed study of both original records and recent discoveries, lord elgin and the marbles is the authoritative. He served as governor of jamaica 18421846, governor general of the province of canada 18471854, and viceroy of india 18621863. Based on a detailed study of both original records and recent discoveries, lord elgin and the marbles is the authoritative historical account of the extraordinary circumstances in which the elgin marbles were acquired, of the tremendous impact which they made on modern appreciation of greek art, and of the bitter reaction of napoleon, byron, and many others to their appropriation. The elgin marbles is a 2006 book by american archaeologist dorothy king about the 5th. This book tells their story, beginning in the fifth century bc when the parthenon was built in athens. Contemporary opposition to elgin s acquisition was voiced most famously by lord byron, one of the leading figures of the romantic movement. Lord elgin and the marbles unfolds the life and the unscrupulous deeds of a thoroughly ignorant man who wanted to introduce the classical spirit to the industrial products of the 19th cent. Lord elgin arrived in constantinople with instructions to watch over british interest, promote trade, look for new deals, get the turks to open the black sea to british trade, and kick the french out of egypt and the eastern mediterranean, which were all part of the ottoman empire.
Based on a study of both original records and recent discoveries, this book is a historical account of the extraordinary circumstances in which the elgin marbles were acquired, of the tremendous impact which they made on modern appreciation of greek art, and of. Vrettos, in the subtitle to his excellent book, uses the word. Clair, william and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at. Based on a study of both original records and recent discoveries, this book is a historical account of the extraordinary circumstances in which the elgin marbles. Did lord elgin plunder or protect the great sculptures of the parthenon. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Bcrpm the document used by lord elgin to justify the. The author is a fantastic writer and gives no opinions on the matter but clearly tells the story behind the parthenon and lord elgin. British museum vows to fight off any attempt by the eu to take back the elgin marbles as it says they were acquired completely legally eu negotiating mandate suggests there could be a demand for. Even before all the sculptures soon known as the elgin marbles went on display in london, lord byron attacked elgin in stinging verses, lamenting in childe harolds pilgrimage how the. M uch has been written in the last few years about the parthenon sculptures, better known as the elgin marbles, named after lord elgin who brought the marbles to britain. At its broadest, the term elgin marbles refers to a collection of stone sculptures and architectural pieces which thomas bruce, seventh lord elgin, gathered during his service as ambassador to the court of the ottoman sultan in istanbul. British museum insists elgin marbles were acquired.
In 1799 thomas bruce, the seventh earl of elgin and 11th of kincardine, set foot in constantinople. Lord elgin eagerly reports on the arrival of the elgin marbles and the possibility of their sale to the british government. A comprehensible and easytoread study of the vicissitudes of the parthenon sculpture. New book blasts british museum over stolen parthenon marbles. Thomas bruce, 7th earl of elgin and 11th earl of kincardine. British museum, british committee for the reunification of the parthenon marbles, lord elgin, firman, ioannis andritsopoulos, ottoman, british museum study room, british museum department of greek and roman antiquities, professor paul cartlege, william st clair, ta nea, house of commons decision to buy the sculptures from elgin in 1816. In its third edition with four new chapters that are arguably even more controversial than the original story, lord elgin and the marbles has become the authoritative source for the history of the parthenon sculptures in the last two centuries of their existence. Actually, it is about the parthenon marbles as a whole, not merely those marbles currently in the british museum which may properly be called the elgin marbles. In practice, the term is commonly used to refer to the stone objects he gatheredan official greek website prefers lootedfrom athens between 1801. Two pages, 224 x 183mm, bifolium, integral address leaf repaired seal tear. The history of the socalled elgin marbles parthenon. When thomas bruce, seventh earl of elgin and british ambassador to the ottoman. Ever since the sculptures from the parthenon arrived in england at the beginning of the last century, they have caused controversy.
James bruce, 8th earl of elgin and 12th earl of kincardine, kt, gcb, ksi, pc 20 july 1811 20 november 1863 was a british colonial administrator and diplomat. The dispute over the legality and rightness of lord elgin s conduct began almost as soon as his mechanics and operatives started removing the marbles in 1801. Based on a detailed study of both original records and recent discoveries, lord elgin and the marbles is the authoritative historical account of the extraordinary. June 20, 2019 was the anniversary of ten years since the opening of the acropolis museum in athens. Today much controversy surrounds the ownership elgin marbles. Lord elgin also published his own defense, and, ultimately, a parliamentary committee concluded that the elgin marbles were best given asylum under a free government. Hence the references to the marbles as elgin s marbles. In 1799 thomas bruce, the seventh earl of elgin and 11th of.555 844 115 766 1036 78 177 244 728 1542 1144 282 914 1138 1057 89 1115 529 1296 1555 1067 594 709 1461 379 828 648 1111 953 315 1497 1433 1356 525 450 804 51 1172 647 127 1241 888