Thursday, October 20, 2005

Future of Marbles is not cast in stone

Many people know that the so-called "Elgin Marbles" in the British Museum are separated, by a long distance, from the Parthenon in Athens to which they belonged. What is less well-known is that a roughly equal proportion of the sculptures of the Parthenon are still in Athens: there are the pieces which Lord Elgin decided, for various reasons, to leave behind; and there are the pieces which he simply missed because they were still buried in the ground, but which came to light later. These pieces make an interesting comparison with the sculptures in London: in some respects, they are in better shape today.

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