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The Parthenon(or Elgin)Marbles

The debate over the Parthenon Marbles has been going on for two centuries and seems to be coming to a head. The statues and reliefs that Lord Elgin had come to draw and make molds from and ended up taking back to England have been in the British Museum almost that long. They may be headed home to the new Acropolis Museum in Athens. This is their story.

Elgin Marbles Index

Lord Elgin

The Parthenon

The Work

The Marbles in England



Elgin Marbles
(elīgin) (KEY) , ancient sculptures taken from Athens to England in 1806 by Thomas Bruce, 7th earl of Elgin; other fragments exist in numerous European museums. The Parthenon frieze by Phidias, a caryatid, and a column from the Erechtheum were sold to the British government in 1816 and are now on view in the British Museum, in a gallery donated by Lord Duveen. Since then, the Greek government has demanded the return of the marbles. Although British claims are based on Elgin’s purchase of the sculptures, Greece has contested this, and its position has many supporters.
See T. Vrettos, The Elgin Affair (1997).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

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