This event will be led by St. Thomas Art History graduate students in Dr. Vanessa Rousseau's Greek and Roman Art in Constructions of Identity in partnership with the Archaeological institute of America, are taking sides on May 8th.Join us for an evening of debate and light refreshments and help us answer the question: To whom do the Parthenon Marbles rightly belong?
You might be wondering, “What are the Parthenon Marbles?”
The Parthenon Marbles are a group of sculpture from the Parthenon starting in 1803 by Thomas Bruce, aka Lord Elgin. Greece was under Ottoman Turkish control at the time, and Lord Elgin was allegedly permitted to take the marbles under a vaguely worded firman, or writ of permission, issued by Sultan Selim III. In 1816, the British Museum purchased the sculptures, naming them the "Elgin Marbles".
Greece gained independence in 1832, and really began the call for repatriation of the marbles in 1981. The Greeks claim the marbles as a part of their cultural identity and question the ethics of Lord Elgin’s actions, as neither the Ottomans nor Elgin asked for Greek consent. In 2009, a modern museum opened on the Athenian Acropolis to house the marbles and other treasures. Thus far, the British Museum has refused to relinquish the marbles.