Greek fury at Elgin marbles 'loan deal'
A bitter new row over ownership of the Elgin marbles has erupted, threatening to eclipse the inauguration this week of a major new museum in Athens designed to house the contested masterpieces.
Just days before the opening of the €130m (£110m) New Acropolis Museum, officials in Athens and London were this weekend engaging in barbed exchanges over the classical treasures.
The dispute, which has indirectly dragged in the Queen, the Greek-born Duke of Edinburgh, and Gordon Brown, re-erupted when Hannah Boulton, the British Museum's spokeswoman, told an Athens radio station that it would consider a loan request from Greece provided that it acknowledged, as is customary with all borrowing institutions, that London owned the pieces. The sculptures, she said, could be displayed in the New Acropolis Museum for three or four months, "the length of time for an average loan of objects".
Celebrities, royals and heads of state are expected to attend Saturday's inauguration of the museum, built within sight of the Parthenon, at the foot of the Acropolis. However, delegates from Britain, including the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, have been quick to send their regrets. Last week, Gordon Brown declined his invitation. Ben Bradshaw, the new secretary for culture and sport, followed suit, as did Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum. It has been left for two British Museum curators to represent the UK.
comments powered by Disqus
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- Did Israel steal uranium from a town in Pennsylvania in the 1960s?
- Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to be published next year
- OAH denounces anti-gay legislation signed by Indiana governor
- Emory’s Leslie Harris says we should remember the racist roots of American colleges as we think about what went wrong at OU and other schools
- Stanford historian looks to the U.S. Postal Service to map the boom and bust of 19th-century American West
- U.S. historian denounces Japanese scholars' statement over wartime sexual slavery
- Timothy V Johnson Named Head of Tamiment Library