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Friday, 7 November 2014

On the Parthenon Marbles, The Times, Arts on Friday; British Museum; Neil MacGregor; Melina Mercouri

Neil MacGregor, the Director of The British Museum, told Richard Morrison:

"When the Parthenon sculptures came to London it was the first time they could be seen at eye-level. They stopped being architectural details in the Parthenon and became sculptures in their own right. They became part of a different story - of what the human body has meant in world culture. In Athens they would be part of an exclusively Athenian story".

"Athenian?" asks Morrison.

"Yes", replies MacGregor, "It's not even a Greek monument. Many other Greek cities and islands protested bitterly about the money taken from them to build this in Athens".

The Times, Arts Section Cover Story, Friday November 7, 2014

There would not appear to be much room for negotiation. I will continue to follow developments with a dispassionate diplomatic interest (as I have done for around forty years). I am all too aware of the sensitivities.

I simply note that there are other British points of view

Loan to Russia

Comment from Athens

Update: article from Foreign Affairs, "Culture Wars"

A pure coincidence that I once found myself sitting right behind Melina Mercouri, Minister of Culture at the time:

on an even lighter note:

Charlie Rich version

Remember what country-singer Roy Acuff once said about the Parthenon in Athens and the new Parthenon in Nashville?

"It's nothing!
-The Parthenon in Athens.
It's falling apart!
The new one in Nashville
Is better. 


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