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After 220 Years, the Fate of the Parthenon Marbles Rests in Secret Talks

The British Museum and Greece’s prime minister are getting closer to a deal on returning the so-called Elgin Marbles to Athens. But key differences remain.

The talks have been ongoing in London since November 2021, between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece and George Osborne, a former finance minister of Britain who is now the chairman of the British Museum. In the seclusion of plush hotels and at the Greek ambassador’s townhouse, the parties have been trying to reach a deal on the marbles’ future, according to two people with knowledge of the negotiations who were granted anonymity to discuss confidential talks.

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by Anonymousreply 78January 24, 2023 4:56 AM

Copy of the NYT article that's not behind a paywall:

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by Anonymousreply 1January 19, 2023 1:18 PM

What possible negotiations would there be? The Brits stole it, as they did probably hundreds of thousands of pieces of art and architecture over hundreds of years of violent and murderous colonialism

It’s pretty fucking simple. GIVE IT BACK.

by Anonymousreply 2January 19, 2023 1:44 PM

The sticking points -- according to the Brits, who are obviously biased -- is that the Ottomans technically had control of the Parthenon at the time and allowed them to take the marbles, but also that Britain has conveniently passed a law saying it's illegal to remove anything from the collection of the British Museum unless it's basically too derelict or damaged to be shown publicly.

That's why they're trying to lend the marbles out for decades at a time, reportedly, it's to get past the issue of the law.

by Anonymousreply 3January 19, 2023 2:11 PM

Send it back to Greece and watch it be immediately tarnished.

by Anonymousreply 4January 19, 2023 2:15 PM

R2, learn some history from R3.

by Anonymousreply 5January 19, 2023 2:22 PM

R4 The marbles are made of marble, not metal.

"Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion that forms over copper, brass, aluminum, magnesium, neodymium and other similar metals as their outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction."

by Anonymousreply 6January 19, 2023 2:28 PM

It sounds like they're nowhere near a deal. Greece wants a longterm loan that will always be extended and not to acknowledge British ownership. BM wants short term loan and constant exchange of artifacts to build trust and can't meet what Greece wants anyway because of its charter.

by Anonymousreply 7January 19, 2023 2:28 PM

R4, the Greeks built a beautiful, state of the art museum at the base of the Acropolis several years ago. I am very sure that the Marbles will be very safe there. I believe in the past the British sited a lack of appropriate site for them, but back then, the museum was little more than a taverna near the Parthenon.

Given the historical magnitude of the Acropolis and Athens itself, I say return them, though this would probably cause a floodgate of demands for the return of artifacts, which, in many cases, wouldn't be wise.

by Anonymousreply 8January 19, 2023 2:29 PM

Greece needs to acknowledge that the BM is the legitimate owner of the Elgin Marbles. There must not be any deal or movement of the marbles without that.

by Anonymousreply 9January 19, 2023 3:16 PM

The English have permanently damaged the marbles. They destroy whatever they touch.

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by Anonymousreply 10January 19, 2023 3:27 PM

r10 Oh good if they're damaged you won't need them back then. Thanks Stavros.

by Anonymousreply 11January 19, 2023 3:33 PM

Why would the British Museum start to behave ethically now?

by Anonymousreply 12January 19, 2023 3:48 PM

You could have left the word "Museum" out and that's still a valid question, R12.

by Anonymousreply 13January 19, 2023 3:53 PM

Wait till Holland demands its Rembrandts and van Goghs back. And Pittsburgh all the Warhols. I can see a lot of hair pulling coming.

by Anonymousreply 14January 19, 2023 4:04 PM

Yes, we all remember when the Ottomans conquered Pittsburgh and sold all the Warhols to the British, r16.

by Anonymousreply 15January 19, 2023 4:18 PM

R14 is an idiot who thinks buying and selling artwork is the same as pillaging ancient ruins in another country.

by Anonymousreply 16January 19, 2023 4:32 PM

The Greeks really must kidnap Camilla and hold her ransom for the return of those damn Marbles! Enough is enough

by Anonymousreply 17January 19, 2023 4:34 PM

"We'll send you the marbles if you to keep Camilla!"

by Anonymousreply 18January 19, 2023 4:38 PM

Those are property of the King! We stole them fair and square.

PS Meagan Markle must die!

by Anonymousreply 19January 19, 2023 4:58 PM

The Acropolis Museum is magnificent. That is where they belong.

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by Anonymousreply 20January 19, 2023 5:01 PM

I believe the Museum has a room waiting for the marbles. Currently the walls of that room are bare, constantly challenging the British Museum to relinquish them

by Anonymousreply 21January 19, 2023 5:07 PM

If they go to Greece in an "extended trip," they're not going back

by Anonymousreply 22January 19, 2023 5:07 PM

Well we DID have receipts for their purchase, R16, you scabby bum sucker.

by Anonymousreply 23January 19, 2023 5:46 PM

The Greeks did far more damage to the Parthenon itself than the Brits did to the marbles, though both neglect and an appalling restoration in the 70s. This sort of argument gets nowhere.

by Anonymousreply 24January 19, 2023 6:06 PM

Since the push is to move the clock back and undo settled things from the past, the UK should demand that Greece first restore its monarchy.

It would also be nice if the UK received Calais back from France.

by Anonymousreply 25January 19, 2023 7:02 PM

Well, R24, the Ottomans using it as an ammunition magazine and the Venetians deciding to cannonball it didn't help. Greece was occupied for 400 years by the Ottomans, being Christians, the Greeks were treated basically like slaves, The Ottomans didn't take care of it either.

by Anonymousreply 26January 19, 2023 7:17 PM

Well, obviously not, R25, but they are not currently party to any negotiations.

by Anonymousreply 27January 19, 2023 7:36 PM

Britain should give them back, They are spoils of empire. They don't belong to Britain

by Anonymousreply 28January 19, 2023 7:45 PM

I want my virginity back.

by Anonymousreply 29January 19, 2023 8:57 PM

No, they aren't r9. The damn British need to give them back.

by Anonymousreply 30January 19, 2023 9:13 PM

What about your marbles, Madge at R29? Don't need those anymore?

by Anonymousreply 31January 20, 2023 12:42 AM

Good news!

by Anonymousreply 32January 20, 2023 1:01 PM

The British stole them fair and square.

by Anonymousreply 33January 20, 2023 1:44 PM

The have been well taken care of by the English for 220 years. God knows if they'd even still exist or what condition they would have been in if they had remained in Greece. There were many wars in Greece in those years. Anything could have happened.

by Anonymousreply 34January 21, 2023 3:13 AM

Glad the Luftwaffle missed them.

by Anonymousreply 35January 21, 2023 3:20 AM

The German Wehrmacht would have stolen what was left of them when they occupied Athens. R35, they couldn't get them. They were evacuated to a bomb proof tunnel for the duration of the war.

by Anonymousreply 36January 21, 2023 3:36 AM

If I was forced to dispose of them, I would give them to Turkey, to give a huge Fuck You to Greece.

by Anonymousreply 37January 21, 2023 4:08 AM

R37 So very British.

by Anonymousreply 38January 21, 2023 2:15 PM

The British taking them also protected them from the notorious Athens air pollution and terrible acid rain that have done quite a lot of damage to the Parthenon and statues on the Acropolis.

by Anonymousreply 39January 22, 2023 2:09 AM

I know these are popular and people flock to visit the artifacts, but I was somewhat underwhelmed by them. Maybe it's how they're displayed? But I just don't get the sense of awe that I do from so many of the other treasures in the British Museum.

by Anonymousreply 40January 22, 2023 2:19 AM

All I remember about the British Museum is the Bog Man -- possibly gay -- and getting hammered a great pub across the street.

by Anonymousreply 41January 22, 2023 2:22 AM

It's far too long overdue - this has been going on for decades. The Brits know they should give it back. Fuck the rules about moving items from the museum.

I've seen them in the British Museum multiple times - they look fine and well preserved, but it always struck me - wtf are these doing HERE? Has nothing to do with British culture or history - at all.

by Anonymousreply 42January 22, 2023 2:32 AM

There is no chance Greece gets them back without changing their stance and cutting a deal with the British Museum and agreeing joint ownership. Greece screaming "THEY'RE OURS is just a complete ignorance of the reality of the situation. Possession being 9/10ss of the law is a fact even without the power difference between the two countries (and drunk Brits funding half the Greek economy). If they just agree to joint ownership the BM would gladly swap control of them every decade to make the problem go away. Beyond that what leverage do the Greeksactually have here?

by Anonymousreply 43January 22, 2023 2:48 AM

R42 - the British Museum would be empty if it were restricted to items just related to British history & culture … unless you count colonial theft, of course.

by Anonymousreply 44January 22, 2023 2:49 AM

r44 You've never been to the British Museum have you. Their Anglo-Saxon collections are fascinating

by Anonymousreply 45January 22, 2023 2:54 AM

R45 - I’ve been many times. It is a great museum.

Sorry for being facetious.

by Anonymousreply 46January 22, 2023 3:20 AM

[quote] the Greeks built a beautiful, state of the art museum at the base of the Acropolis

I don't regard this as 'beautiful'.

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by Anonymousreply 47January 22, 2023 3:39 AM

r46 Sorry if I sound angry. I'm getting vaguely defensive over the British Museum these days. I genuinely think its one of the worlds greatest collections of historical antiquities ever collected (yes most of it gathered by British might during the 19th century but that's just how history works. If Alexander appeared in the 19th century and founded the Macedonian Museum it'd be the same) but one of the biggest complaints I've seen against it is the lack of British history in there but that is genuinely not true the Suton Hoo hoard is one of my favourite parts of the entire place

by Anonymousreply 48January 22, 2023 3:40 AM

R10 I wouldn't believe any claim from that newspaper.

It's English but it HATES the English.

by Anonymousreply 49January 22, 2023 3:44 AM

[quote]Yes, we all remember when the Ottomans conquered Pittsburgh and sold all the Warhols to the British

That was a tragedy and I'll never forget where I was when that happened. Many people didn't survive and the one's who did contracted windmill cancer.


by Anonymousreply 50January 22, 2023 4:10 AM

The Brits removed mummies from Egypt during a time when locals were burning them. They were even being used as fuel to power trains.

The Greeks are dead broke. Have been for years. And their government is iffy at best. How are they to be trusted with the stewardship of the marbles?

This is the art worlds' version of "Free Britney" with a probable similar outcome. Sounds good but it really isn't.

by Anonymousreply 51January 22, 2023 4:34 AM

The marbles aren’t displayed that interestingly at the British Museum. They’re on the walls off in a side room. The only reason people go to them is because of the controversy. The BM has a pamphlet about the issue that tries to sway visitors that the marbles belong at the BM.

by Anonymousreply 52January 22, 2023 4:38 AM

[quote] The only reason people go to them is because of the controversy.

It's fair to say that someone who believes that is too ignorant to live.

by Anonymousreply 53January 22, 2023 4:41 AM

[quote]I've seen them in the British Museum multiple times - they look fine and well preserved, but it always struck me - wtf are these doing HERE?

And yet, people don't look at European art in American museums and wonder wtf are these doing HERE. It shows that the argument that art only belongs in the geographical area it which it was produced is just crap.

by Anonymousreply 54January 22, 2023 4:51 AM

[quote] It shows that the argument that art only belongs in the geographical area it which it was produced is just crap.

There’s a fairly big difference between paintings and state treasures R54 don’t be silly.

by Anonymousreply 55January 22, 2023 4:59 AM

[Quote] It's fair to say that someone who believes that is too ignorant to live.

And even with the fame of the Marbles, the gallery was pretty empty on a typical summer weekend. I guess everyone is too ignorant to live…except you, of course

by Anonymousreply 56January 22, 2023 5:44 AM

[Quote] And yet, people don't look at European art in American museums and wonder wtf are these doing HERE.

Because museum art isn’t usually plundered. It’s bought, borrowed, donated.

by Anonymousreply 57January 22, 2023 5:45 AM

a British-Iraqi artist has just offered to give a work to Tate Modern if the BM gives an Assyrian relief to Iraq to replace one destroyed by Islamic State. That's were we are - the BM is supposed to replace something the Iraqis themselves destroyed in return for a different institution getting something basically worthless.

by Anonymousreply 58January 22, 2023 10:14 AM

[quote]Possession being 9/10ss of the law is a fact

It is not a fact. I'm starting to believe that almost no one on DL knows what a fact even is.

by Anonymousreply 59January 22, 2023 10:17 AM

If it's pagan art, burn it. If it's Towelhead or Jew art, ship it back to them, C.O.D.

-- Concerned Christian Mothers

by Anonymousreply 60January 22, 2023 12:03 PM

R47, from the inside, incredible works are on display with huge windows so you can look at the works with the Parthenon hovering above in all its splendor. Mary, I know, but it is quite an experience. The Greeks did a magnificent job.

by Anonymousreply 61January 22, 2023 12:52 PM

History has winners and losers. The Greeks lost the Marbles. Suck it up. On a similar note, I think the "land acknowledgements" now being demanded at the beginning of every event in the US and Canada are ridiculous. Rather than saying "we are standing on land stolen from the Apache", let's tell the whole story. "We are standing on land won from the Apache, who won it from the Cherokee, who won it from the Ottawa, who won it from 14 other tribes who won it from others, dating back to the ones who killed the Neanderthals, who killed the mastodons". (I'm not being literal about tribes - just making a point that people only own things and land as long as they have the power to defend them. When they don't, history moves on.)

by Anonymousreply 62January 22, 2023 1:14 PM

I'd have let this Apache scout capture my white ass.

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by Anonymousreply 63January 22, 2023 1:34 PM

So basically all any country has to do is conquer Britain and everything. Is theirs!

by Anonymousreply 64January 22, 2023 6:20 PM

1816 called. They want their narrative back from Marxist revisionists.

by Anonymousreply 65January 22, 2023 6:32 PM

[quote] I'm starting to believe that almost no one on DL knows what a fact even is

Marxist revisionists, Prince Harry, and sozzled elder-Dataloungers don't know what facts are.

by Anonymousreply 66January 22, 2023 10:01 PM

The Parthenon Museum has—

[quote] huge windows

Having huge windows to look out of it does not excuse the industrial heaviness of this so-called beautiful building.

by Anonymousreply 67January 22, 2023 10:05 PM

Have you been there R67? It's not about the museum and no poster said it was a beautiful museum. It is magnificent in how it blends the experience of viewing the artifacts and looking at the Parthenon up above. Besides that, the interior of the building and placement of the artifacts is almost monumental

I wonder why I even address idiots.

by Anonymousreply 68January 22, 2023 10:24 PM

"I wonder why I even address idiots."

Perhaps because those who aren't idiots find you tedious and won't talk to you?

by Anonymousreply 69January 22, 2023 10:28 PM

R68, today

[quote] no poster said it was a beautiful museum

R8, on Friday

[quote] the Greeks built a beautiful, state of the art museum

by Anonymousreply 70January 22, 2023 10:33 PM

R70, a museum is about its collection and how it is presented. No one gives a shit about the outside. This is a the case for the Acropolis museum. Visit it, go inside, trust me, you will experience its magnificence.

by Anonymousreply 71January 22, 2023 10:59 PM

R69, you did. The DL is not a conversation and isn't talking, or haven't you noticed yet?

by Anonymousreply 72January 22, 2023 11:07 PM

We know how the Greeks take care of things.

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by Anonymousreply 73January 22, 2023 11:24 PM

R72, so you said that I talked to you, but also that the DL isn't talking. Which is it? I think you may be the "idiot" after all.

by Anonymousreply 74January 22, 2023 11:42 PM

The Parthenon Museum project was so successful that it’s Director was chosen to direct the Greek Olympics, which were also a huge success

by Anonymousreply 76January 24, 2023 2:55 AM

[quote] No one gives a shit about the outside.

R71 That sentence could only be spoken by a blind man.

by Anonymousreply 77January 24, 2023 4:21 AM

[quote] It would also be nice if the UK received Calais back from France.

It was French before the English stole it in 1367, actually.

by Anonymousreply 78January 24, 2023 4:56 AM
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