Many of the Parthenon Sculptures removed by Lord Elgin’s agents were found “in the rubble” around the monument, they were not removed violently,” claimed Dr Jonathan Williams, deputy director of the British Museum during the annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on the Promotion of the Return of Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO.
“Much of the frieze was in fact removed from the rubble around the Parthenon… These objects were not all hacked from the building as it has been suggested,” Williams was quoted as saying during the meeting.
Parthenon Sculptures: “We did not remove them violently, they were thrown in the rubble” say the British
“There will never be a magical moment of reunion, as half the sculptures of the Parthenon have been lost forever. “They were destroyed before Elgin came to Athens.”
In an effort to change the narrative the British Museum, that still opposed the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, argues that what Elgion did was practically to clean the ruins from big and small pieces of marbles and pave the way for future visitors of the Parthenon, right?
Williams reportedly told the panel, among others, that Greece’s desire to see the Parthenon completed is impossible to fulfill, as much of it had been destroyed long before Elgin arrived in Greece.
“There will never be a magical moment of reunion, as half the sculptures of the Parthenon have been lost forever. They had been destroyed since the end of the 17th century before Elgin came to Athens “, he said, pointing out that now the Sculptures are very well preserved.
The new claim comes just days after the UNESCO announced that Greece and UK had agreed to hold formal talks on the return of the Parthenon Sculptures
In a statement published in the Guardian on Sunday, the Greek Culture Minister, Lina Mendoni, rebuffed the claim and accused Lord Elgin, then British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, of committing serial theft.
“Over the years, Greek authorities and the international scientific community have demonstrated with unshakeable arguments the true events surrounding the removal of the Parthenon sculptures,” Mendoni said.
“Lord Elgin used illicit and inequitable means to seize and export the Parthenon sculptures, without real legal permission to do so, in a blatant act of serial theft,” the minister stressed.