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British Museum director says Parthenon sculptures are better off in London

The director of the British Museum has hit back at Jeremy Corbyn’s claim that the Elgin Marbles should be returned to Greece, saying they are better off in London.

British Museum director says Parthenon sculptures are better off in London
Part of the so-called 'Elgin Marbles' collection at the British Museum
[Credit: Dylan Martinez/Reuters]
Hartwig Fischer insisted the museum provided a “unique setting for the sculptures” after the Labour leader told a Left-wing Greek newspaper they should be returned to the Parthenon.

Mr Fischer, who took over as director in 2016, said: “The Parthenon sculptures are a vital part of this world collection that seeks to tell the history of humanity over two million years.

“There are very few places in the world that can do that.

“I think it’s beneficial that some of the sculptures that remain are here in London where they tell this world story and some are in Athens where they can tell the story of the importance of classical Greece.

“The museum is always seeking to extend our knowledge of these objects. For example, we have an exhibition on at the moment which looks at the profound effect they had on the French sculptor Rodin.

“This provides a great example of how the museum provides a unique setting for the sculptures.”

Mr Fischer’s predecessor Neil McGregor said in 2014 there was “no possibility of putting the Elgin Marbles back” during his tenure. Last week Mr Corbyn told Ta Nea newspaper: “The Parthenon sculptures belong to Greece.”

The sculptures have been housed in the British Museum since 1816 after they were bought by the Government from Lord Elgin.

He removed them from Athens between 1799 and 1810 after obtaining permission from Ottoman officials who ruled Greece at the time.

Author: Camilla Tominey | Source: Express [June 13, 2018]


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