Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
The British Museum in London, which for decades evaded the Greek government’s requests to repatriate the Parthenon Marbles to Athens, is now facing pressure from one of the world’s most powerful leaders, Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Xi expressed his support of Greece’s demand to win back the 2,500-year-old friezes during a visit to the Acropolis Museum on Tuesday, October 12, where he was accompanied by his Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
The Chinese leader was prompted to take a stance on the issue by Pavlopoulos while the two viewed plaster casts of the marbles. “Imagine this place with the marbles, and [then] imagine how the marbles are at this moment in the British Museum, which is holding them illegally and against every sense of culture,” the Greek president said.
“I totally agree with you,” Xi replied, according to a report by Aljazeera. “Not only will you have my support, we should work together,” the Chinese president continued. “We, too, have our own [treasures] outside the country and are doing everything we can to get them home.”
Parthenon Marbles (also called the Elgin Marbles) were originally part of the temple of the Parthenon in the Acropolis. The British Museum purchased the sculptures about 200 years ago from Lord Elgin, who was serving as the first British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Supporters of Elgin claim that he removed the friezes from the at the acropolis with permission from the Ottoman Sultan. Greece, on the other hand, argues that the Ottoman empire was an occupying force and any permission granted during that period is not valid.
In 2013, UNESCO offered the British Museum to mediate a deal between it and the government of Greece, which has been calling for the return of the marbles with for the past 30 years. But the museum has reportedly rejected the request.
Last year, British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn announced that if elected, he would return the friezes to Greece. “They were made in Greece, and that is where they were for thousands of years until they were taken by Lord Elgin,” he told the Greek newspaper told Ta Nea. “We should be engaged in constructive talks with the Greek government about returning the sculptures.”
In a world delighted and entertained by displays of material excess, Diane Simpson shows that there is another possibility.
The animal carcass sculptures are gruesome yet their materials — the artist’s own discarded clothing — lend them some gentleness.
View work by over 40 experimental artists and collectives from throughout the Americas who contributed to New York’s art scene during the 1960s and ’70s.
Mr. Bernatowicz, in your introductory text you talk about the need for honesty, the disease of hypocrisy, overreaching governments. You do not fulfill a single one of your own ideals.
The biggest problem with turning Dune into a film is that the book appears increasingly derivative of generic sci-fi tropes.
This exhibition explores how images of the human body were used to provoke profound physical and emotional responses in viewers from the 15th through 18th centuries.
Ed Roberson’s motorcycle ride from Pittsburgh to the Pacific is a quest-romance, an exploration of American culture and American mythology.
The collaborative handmade paper- and printmaking center at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts publishes new works by Liz Collins and Sarah McEneaney.
The legendary performer amassed a collection of about 10,000 rare books, posters, and artwork about all things esoteric.
The proceeds will benefit the BDC’s community-centered initiatives and exhibitions.