Elgin Marbles controversy: the UK wrote a piece of paper so we can keep them. Huh?

The Parthenon Sculptures (or Elgin Marbles): the UK stole them, then wrote a law to say they’re ours. Can we all do that with other people’s stuff?

What’s the other name for them? The Parthenon Sculptures?

Right.

So the Parthenon Sculptures were in Greece – at the Parthenon – for thousands of years, but then the British Empire arrived and stole them.

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Decades after that – and after many years of argument with Greece over ownership of the sculptures – UK prime minister Rishi Sunak refused to attend a summit meeting with his opposite number in Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, apparently on the basis that he would be raising the ownership of the sculptures again.

This kicked up a fuss.

Now, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan has said the meeting would only have been with UK deputy PM Oliver Dowden.

She added that UK law protects the status of the sculptures, which she described as the “Elgin Marbles”, and that under this law, the sculptures must stay in the British Museum.

Here are a couple of tweets, one of which shows Keegan saying this, the other providing a reaction:

So the UK stole these rocks, then wrote a law saying the rocks are ours, and we expect that to stand up as a reason to keep them?

Really?

It reminds me of a line by Douglas Adams, which I’ll paraphrase: “Property is theft, right? Therefore theft is property, therefore these rocks are ours.”

I don’t think so.


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2 thoughts on “Elgin Marbles controversy: the UK wrote a piece of paper so we can keep them. Huh?

  1. restless42

    It’s not the Parthenon Sculptures that are protected “under the law!”
    It’s the thieves that are protected under the law!
    It should be called “The Thieves Law”!

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