Why is Lord Elgin an abomination to the Greeks?

by Effrosyni Moschoudi

To the Greeks, the name Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, is an abomination, the likes perhaps, of only Lucifer himself. Lord Elgin, as he is more famously known, is notorious in my country for his enormous blundering appetite that was coupled by an equally enormous lack of regard for the Parthenon treasures.

Having acquired a paper of questionable validity (i.e. a mere letter signed by a pasha as opposed to a firman signed by a sultan – the only document that could have authorized him properly within the Othoman Empire), he didn’t hesitate to remove from the Parthenon far more than anyone could have ever imagined possible. Furthermore, he caused irreversible damage to the sculptures that were taken off the friezes. By instructing the workers to remove the posterior side from these treasures (obviously, he thought only the frontal side was of any value!), he thus managed to rid his cargo of unnecessary (!) weight and to cut down on logistic costs.

Elgin shipped the Parthenon Marbles to Britain divided among many different ships, whatever he could arrange with the odd passing ship of the British Navy and each time, he was allowed a very small amount of treasures on board. However, he managed once to commission his own boat, the legendary ‘Mentor’, in 1802. Thrilled to have no weight restrictions this time, Elgin greedily loaded that ship so much that it sank just off the shore on the island of Kythira. When that happened, he contacted the local British consulate, and in order to seek assistance for the retrieval of the treasures, he stated in his letter the infamous lie “…she had on board a quantity of boxes with stones of no value of themselves; but of great consequence for me to secure…”

Do read the full blog at: Why is Lord Elgin an abomination to the Greeks? | Effrosyni’s Blog

October 1st, 2015

Posted In: blogwereld, looting and illegal art traffickers, Parthenon Marbles, Parthenon Marbles (DO NOT CALL THE ELGIN MARBLES!), Ton Cremers

Why is Lord Elgin an abomination to the Greeks?

by Effrosyni Moschoudi

To the Greeks, the name Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, is an abomination, the likes perhaps, of only Lucifer himself. Lord Elgin, as he is more famously known, is notorious in my country for his enormous blundering appetite that was coupled by an equally enormous lack of regard for the Parthenon treasures.

Having acquired a paper of questionable validity (i.e. a mere letter signed by a pasha as opposed to a firman signed by a sultan – the only document that could have authorized him properly within the Othoman Empire), he didn’t hesitate to remove from the Parthenon far more than anyone could have ever imagined possible. Furthermore, he caused irreversible damage to the sculptures that were taken off the friezes. By instructing the workers to remove the posterior side from these treasures (obviously, he thought only the frontal side was of any value!), he thus managed to rid his cargo of unnecessary (!) weight and to cut down on logistic costs.

Elgin shipped the Parthenon Marbles to Britain divided among many different ships, whatever he could arrange with the odd passing ship of the British Navy and each time, he was allowed a very small amount of treasures on board. However, he managed once to commission his own boat, the legendary ‘Mentor’, in 1802. Thrilled to have no weight restrictions this time, Elgin greedily loaded that ship so much that it sank just off the shore on the island of Kythira. When that happened, he contacted the local British consulate, and in order to seek assistance for the retrieval of the treasures, he stated in his letter the infamous lie “…she had on board a quantity of boxes with stones of no value of themselves; but of great consequence for me to secure…”

Do read the full blog at: Why is Lord Elgin an abomination to the Greeks? | Effrosyni’s Blog

October 1st, 2015

Posted In: blogwereld, looting and illegal art traffickers, Parthenon Marbles, Parthenon Marbles (DO NOT CALL THE ELGIN MARBLES!), Ton Cremers

In William St. Clair’s fascinating, and very well documented book Lord Elgin & The Marbles; the controversial history of the Parthenon sculptures (third revised edition, 1998) one can read an account about the illicit removal of ancient manuscripts: “Professor Carlyle had been attached to Lord Elgin’s Embassy by the government for the specific purpose of looking for ancient manuscripts”…”Carlyle obtained them in various ways. Six he brought from the monastery of St Saba near Jerusalem. Four or five others come from the library of the Patriarch of Jerusalem at Constantinople. To none of these manuscripts did Carlyle have any legal title. They were lent to him, at his own insistent request, to allow them to be collated in England and to help with the production of a revised edition of the New Testament. Before he left Constantinople for the last time in March 1801 Carlyle signed a declaration prepared by the Patriarch promising to return the manuscripts to the Patriarch at Constantinople ‘when the purposes for which they were borrowed were completed or whenever the Patriarch should demand them’. Philip Hunt, as a secretary of the Embassy also signed the declaration, thus making the British Government a party to the promise”. (Chapter 21 The fate of the manuscripts, of St. Clair’s book.)

These manuscripts were never returned. Apparently ‘the purposes for which they were borrowed’ are still – after 200 years – to be completed…

Where are they now: in the library of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Library at Lambeth.

Correct me if I am wrong, but if I remember well Carlyle also took manuscripts form the monastery of Mount Athos.

Ton Cremers
http://www.museum-security.org
meditatione-ignis.org
http://www.toncremers.nl

also read:

Analysing the British Museum’s historical revisionism in Elgin’s own words

September 25th, 2015

Posted In: Parthenon Marbles, Parthenon Marbles (DO NOT CALL THE ELGIN MARBLES!)

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I have just had a Damascus moment. The scales have fallen from my eyes. I have seen the light. The British Museum (left) is unquestionably the greatest cultural institution on earth. We all know this, but how many of us fully appreciate it until we cross the threshold and enter its beautiful, spacious and subtly illuminated galleries containing a multitude of numinous art and artefacts representing the zenith of human creativity. 

What few people realise is that the multitude of objects that make up the British Museum’s collections (which date from darkest antiquity to the present day), can only be properly appreciated in this context, in this very museum, right here in Bloomsbury, London. 
Take, for example, the colossal Assyrian winged bulls (right), the beauty and power of which can only be fully comprehended when juxtaposed with an excruciatingly poetic marble nude from the High Classical period of ancient Greece. Similarly, how could we possibly assimilate into our enfeebled twenty-first century minds the grace and charm of the Greek contrapposto without seeing it in proximity to the stiffly marching figures of Ancient Egypt in the adjacent gallery? These objects speak to each other, and to us, with startling lucidity.
Read Tom Flynn’s full blog at:
http://tom-flynn.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/lets-hear-it-for-british-museum.html

August 18th, 2015

Posted In: Parthenon Marbles (DO NOT CALL THE ELGIN MARBLES!)

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