At the beginning of the 19th century, whilst Greece was under Ottoman occupation, the British Ambassador, Lord Elgin violently removed 88 sculptural parts from the Parthenon Temple, as well as a statue, a Caryatid from the Erechtheion on the Acropolis of Athens, dismembering and effectively destroying a monument which was created in the 5th century B.C and which is part of the world’s cultural heritage.
These sculptures can be found today in the British Museum in London, whilst their homeland, Greece, displays plaster copies.
Greece’s request to the British Museum for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures was first formulated together with the establishment of the Greek state in 1830, and continues to constitute a national and cultural target.
A benchmark in the claim for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures was formed in 1982 at the International Conference of UNESCO in Mexico, when Melina Merkouri, Greek minister of Culture at that time, dramatically put forward a request for their return. The request was put to a vote with a result of 56 for, 22 against and 24 abstentions.
Today, the request for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures is supported by 26 committees of scientists, artists, writers, lawyers and politicians, which have been created in an equal number of countries around the world.
As the children of the Acropolis, who went to school, grew up and continue to live next to this shining monument and the Acropolis Museum, we ask of you, the young boys and girls of the world, to unite your voices with ours’ so that the Parthenon Sculptures may be returned to their rightful home, in Athens. Back to the illuminating source that created them.
Say YES to the return of the Parthenon Sculptures.
Let’s get together to put them back together!