A pathway to the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures

A Union Jack flies over the British Museum in London on September 28, 2023. Professor Angelos Chaniotis highlighted the risk of a strict legal pursuit for the Parthenon Marbles, warning that any court decision will be made on a legal basis of the extant rules at the time rather than modern cultural and moral standards. [Hollie Adams/Reuters]

Angelos Chaniotis, professor of ancient history and classics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, delivered a very topical lecture at the nonprofit educational institution College Year in Athens (CYA) titled "Divided Monument, Dividing Monument: The Controversy over the Parthenon Sculptures" on Wednesday. He was joined on the panel by Irini Stamatoudi, professor of law at the University of Nicosia, who has been actively involved in efforts to repatriate the Parthenon Marbles held by the British Museum.

He began by providing a brief historical narrative of how the sculptures were removed from the Parthenon and early efforts to reunite them, mentioning an official request by the Kingdom of Greece in 1835 to this end. That was followed by isolated ventures until a concerted effort began with Melina Mercouri during her tenure as minister of culture in...

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