Should the Elgin Marbles be returned to Greece? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Should the Elgin Marbles be returned to Greece?

The British Museum is the proud possessor of some of Greece’s most ancient and priceless artefacts. In the bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence it is meet to reflect on what wonders Greece has wrought and whether there ought to be a restitution of the Ancient Greek monuments that are now held far from Greece.

How did these friezes from Athens come to be in London? Cast your mind back over 200 years. Greece was a province of the Ottoman Empire. Proud Ellas had been subjugated by the Turks in the 15th century. The Orthodox Christians were reduced to dhimmi status. Many Hellenes resolved to endure the galling yoke of Ottoman oppression no longer. They valiantly battled against overwhelming odds to cast off the heavy shackles cast in Istanbul.

It was during the Greek War of Liberation that the British ambassador to the Sublime Porte was the Earl of Elgin. Like most British patricians his noble lordship was classically educated. He had been brought up on tales of the resplendence and genius of the Greek race. In Athens he saw that the Acropolis (‘’upper city’’) was used by the Ottoman Army as a munitions dump. By happenstance or design the Parthenon (‘’virgin temple’’) could have been blown to zhenat.