Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Protest at the British Museum

Above: Students from Kefalonia stage peaceful protest at the British Museum [photo from The British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles]

British Museum, London

Forty five secondary school students and five teachers from the 2nd General Lyceum in Argostoli (Kefalonia), visited London in order to stage a peaceful protest for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens at the British Museum on Sunday 03 May 2009.

This protest was supported by Marbles Reunited a British campaigning organisation and Friends of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.

The Parthenon Sculptures were removed from the Parthenon in Athens between 1801-1812. They were subsequently bought by the British Government in 1816 and placed in the British Museum's Duveen Gallery, where they have remained.

The first recorded request for their return was made by Greece in 1833. The British Museum has long argued why these sculptures should remain in London. One such argument was that Greece had nowhere to display the sculptures. However, this argument is no longer valid as the New Acropolis Museum, designed by Swiss architect, Bernard Tschumi will officially open on 20 June 2009. It will hold around 4,000 artefacts and will have an exhibition space of 14,000 square metres.

At present the British Museum's policy remains the same, that the Parthenon Marbles the largest collection of Parthenon sculptures outside of Greece, will remain in London. Greece has however received fragments from Heidelberg, Palermo and the Vatican.

The British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles

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