(Greece) – Recently, the Greek government has started to forge alliances with organizations such as the United Nations in an effort to bring the Elgin Marbles, which are currently being housed in the British Museum, back to Greece. Early this week, Greece announced that it would renew its efforts to bring the marbles back to the country by forming these alliances. Also referred to as the Parthenon Marbles, these artifacts have been housed in the British Museum for nearly 200 years. Originally part of the Parthenon in Athens, they were removed from the Parthenon and transported on a ship to Britain in the early 1800’s. They’ve been there ever since.
Recently, Greece has renewed its efforts to get the marbles back to Greece. They began forming these alliances in the hope that international attention will result in the marbles’ “homecoming”. They have several options in how to get the marbles back to Greece. First, they can take the British Museum to the European Court of Human Rights, or the ECHR. They can also appeal to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO. They can also pitch the International Court of Justice, or the ICJ, to get the statues back to the country. It is unclear at this time which move Greece will make, but a starting point is to form relationships with organizations like the United Nations, which will help Greece secure the return of the marbles.
Representatives from the British Museum have said that they believe that the marbles are in a good place because they can be seen by a large audience and are also actively studied by scholars throughout the world who desire a greater understanding of Greek culture. They are referred to as the “Elgin Marbles” because sometime between 1801 and 1805, Scottish nobleman Lord Elgin, who was also the Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which at the time included Athens, ended up with them. The sculptures were originally part of the Parthenon and were created around 2500 years ago. In the 1700’s, the Parthenon was nearly destroyed when the Venetians put Athens under siege. Lord Elgin sold the Parthenon Marbles to the British Museum in 1817 where they’ve been ever since. Greece feels that it is time to bring them back to Athens.