Re: The return of the Parthenon Marbles
Dear British minister of culture,
I am writing this letter to address the issue of returning the Parthenon Marbles. I most certainly think that the Parthenon Marbles must be returned to Greece and I have three strong reasons to back up this statement. My reasons are legality, cultural heritage and how the beauty of the Parthenon was ruined because of Elgin’s heartless vandalism.
This argument is based on the legality aspect of Lord Elgin moving the Parthenon marbles to Britain. Back at that time, Greece was ruled by the Ottoman Empire who permitted Lord Elgin to freely enter within the walls of The Parthenon and draw, mimic or model the ancient temples with plaster. It was also permitted to erect scaffolding and dig and discover ancient foundations. Thirdly it gave the freedom to take away sculptures which did not interfere with the walls of Parthenon and which were freely lying on the ground. The documented permit evidence in 1801 signed by the Sultan of Ottoman has been denounced as fake. Hence Elgin has violated and misused the permit by hauling major walls. Ottomans authority to give this permit is also questionable if the Turk Rulers had the legitimate power and authority to issue this permit.
Greece is a country known for its rich ancient culture and heritage. Parthenon marbles are a significant and central part of the Greek heritage and it’s a proud link that modern Athenians cherish about the greatness of their ancestors. The Sculptures were made by Greeks to symbolise and honour the glory of Greece and it represents the cultural identity of millions of people. Just like how Britain has retained its own culture and heritage – Would it be acceptable for another foreign power to hold on to Britains Stonehenge ? In a world where everyone has the right to retain and glorify their own cultural heritage and hence in all fairness the Parthenon sculptures have to be returned to Greece. Many Museums in Sweden, Germany, America and Vatican have acknowledged this and returned the items taken from Greece.
Even during Elgin’s day, many people agreed that removal of pieces resulted in destruction of a unique and beautiful whole structure. Elgin’s vandalism resulted in destroying the beauty of Parthenon sustaining a great injury. The elegance of the Parthenon Marbles was ruined as it is out of place at the British Museum. They were designed to be in Athens at the Parthenon, displayed high in the sunshine on top of the Acropolis Hill. Further damages were done to the sculptures during the attempts of using several cleaning techniques used at the British museums. Since 1975 Greece has been carefully restoring the Acropolis and I undoubtedly believe the sculptures are part of a larger piece of art, and keeping these emblematic marbles away from their home is a crime as it ruins the aesthetic nature and meaning.. By returning the sculptures back to their home in Greece will truly restore the culture and bring more glory.
In summary, I believe that the returning the Parthenon marbles back to their original home will truly restore the culture and bring more glory to the sculptures. The mugging, vandalism and excavation of the marbles not only resulted in the sustainment of injury on the marbles but also the destruction of the overall beauty of the Parthenon, this will be perfect opportunity to repair this destruction and will enable the millions of people visiting Athens to fully appreciate the beauty and significance of its creation. Thank you for the opportunity given to explain the urge and need to restore the beauty of The Parthenon and I am hoping for a positive outcome in future.
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