British Museum - Room 18: Greece: Parthenon

British Museum - Room 18: Greece: Parthenon Room 18 features the Parthenon Marbles which are a collection of Classical Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions, and architectural pieces that were originally part of the temple of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens.
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The Parthenon was built as a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. It was the centrepiece of an ambitious building programme on the Acropolis of Athens. The temple’s great size and lavish use of white marble was intended to show off the city’s power and wealth at the height of its empire. Room 18 exhibits sculptures that once decorated the outside of the building. The pediments and metopes illustrate episodes from Greek mythology, while the frieze represents the people of contemporary Athens in religious procession.

Operating as usual

Pictures of the Parthenon
04/05/2017

Pictures of the Parthenon

29/11/2016

The Elgin Marbles, also known as the Parthenon Marbles, are a collection of Classical Greek marble sculptures (made by the citizens of Athens under the supervision of the renowned architect and sculptor Phidias and his assistants), inscriptions, and architectural pieces that were originally part of the temple of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens.

In 1801, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin obtained a controversial permit from the Sublime Porte, which then ruled Greece. From 1801 to 1812, Elgin's agents removed about half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as sculptures from the Propylaea and Erechtheum. The Marbles were transported by sea to Britain. In Britain, the acquisition of the collection was supported by some, while others, such as Lord Byron, likened Elgin's actions to vandalism or looting.

Following a public debate in Parliament and the subsequent exoneration of Elgin, the marbles were purchased from Elgin by the British government in 1816 and were passed to the British Museum, where they are on display in the purpose-built Duveen Gallery.

After gaining its independence from the Ottoman Empire, Greece began major projects for the restoration of the country's monuments, and has expressed its disapproval of Elgin's removal of the Marbles from the Acropolis and the Parthenon, which is regarded as one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. Greece disputes the subsequent purchase of the Marbles by the British Government and urges the return of the marbles to Greece for their unification.

In 2014, UNESCO offered to mediate between Greece and the United Kingdom in resolving the dispute of the Elgin Marbles, although this was later turned down by the UK

British Museum - Room 18: Greece: Parthenon's cover photo
29/11/2016

British Museum - Room 18: Greece: Parthenon's cover photo

Photos from British Museum - Room 18: Greece: Parthenon's post
29/11/2016

Photos from British Museum - Room 18: Greece: Parthenon's post

British Museum - Room 18: Greece: Parthenon
29/11/2016

British Museum - Room 18: Greece: Parthenon

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WC1B 3DG

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