Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 23

Elgin Marbles - Description, Interpretation of the frieze, Criticism by Elgin's contemporaries, Damage to marbles

parthenon greece

Marble sculptures of the mid-5th-c BC from the Parthenon of Athens. Acquired in 1801–3 by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin (1766–1841), in circumstances of doubtful legality while Greece was under Turkish rule, they were shipped to England, and in 1816 purchased by the government for the British Museum, where they remain on display. In the 1980s in particular, the question of their return to Greece became a heated political issue there, and the matter continues to be raised, given a focus by the ongoing restoration of the Parthenon. A request to borrow the Marbles for the 2004 Olympic Games was turned down.

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