The Question of the Parthenon Marbles or the Elgin Marbles.



The British Museum in London has an exhibit of ancient Greek art called the Parthenon Sculptures located in the Duveen Gallery. These Parthenon sculptures are also known as the Elgin Marbles, the sculptures taking the name of the man who brought them to England, Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin. The sculptures were taken from the Parthenon temple located on the acropolis in Athens. The sculptures at the British Museum are in large part taken from three different parts of the temple, the frieze, the pediment and the metopes. The question concerning these sculptures goes well beyond what they should be called, but ultimately concerns where they belong and to whom.

We will be writing a letter to the British Museum expressing our informed opinion on whether or not the marbles in question should stay in the British Museum or be returned to Greece and placed in the Acropolis Museum in Athens. First we need to be informed on the history surrounding the question. We need to know about the history of the Parthenon, of the country of Greece and the history of how the marbles ended up in a museum in London, England.

The first video below is just an interesting introduction to the topic. It connects the three principals of the question, the Parthenon, the British Museum and the marbles. Also, it shows where the marbles would have been on the Parthenon itself.

The next two videos give an overview of the history of the Parthenon and how the marbles ended up in the British Museum. That history in turn will help mold an opinion on the question. The second video in particular brings up the question itself and offers evidence on both sides as to whether or not the marbles should be returned.

Introduction Video




History of the Question



History of the Parthenon