British Museum should return the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece, says Sir Antony Gormley

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Feb 20, 2021, 5:12:42 AMFeb 20
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British Museum should return the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece, says Sir Antony Gormley

By GCT Team

The British Museum should return the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece, Sir Antony Gormley said during an interview with British Archaeology magazine.

The sculptor, who was one of the museum’s trustees from 2007 to 2015, also called for the institution to detach from its “obsession with the classical world.”

He said the museum misrepresented certain areas of the world while under-representing others.

On the topic of the Parthenon Sculptures, he said: “I would be happy to return [them] because I think the present galleries are not a particularly inspiring place.”

Sir Antony also described small displays of African artefacts in the museum’s basement as a “post-colonial iniquity.”

Parthenon Sculptures

The 2,500-year-old marble sculptures have been the subject of dispute for over three decades, with Greece and the international community repeatedly calling on the British Museum to return them to their place of origin.

The sculptures were ‘violently’ and illegally removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin in the 1800s and sold to the British Museum.

The British Museum has consistently refused to return the priceless marbles.

 British Museum hires curator to research history of its collection, including the Parthenon Sculptures

The British Museum has hired a curator to delve into the history of its 267-year-old collection.

Historian Dr Isobel MacDonald was appointed to the post last March, however her work was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Several items in the museum’s collection are subject to restitution claims including the Parthenon Sculptures, the Benin Bronzes, the Rosetta Stone and the Hoa Hakananai’a statue.

A museum spokesman told MailOnline: “The primary purpose of this curatorial role is to carry out a high level analysis of the history of the Museum’s collection.

“It will look at the wider patterns of how different types of object from different parts of the world entered the Museum collection over the last 250 years and place those in a broader historical context.

“It is not the purpose of this role to examine the specific histories of contested objects.”

It is not known when the research will conclude or if the results will be published.

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