To the Editor:
Since the Parthenon Marbles controversy continues on the international stage, why the secret negotiations between The Greek Nation and The British Museum?
“These sculptures which originated in the 5th century BC, became emblems of British National Identity, and have remained art objects allied to cultural nationalism in both Britain and Greece ever since,” the scholar Debbie Challis writes, in The British Art Journal.
After 200 years, it is now the time to resolve this important issue with transparency. This priceless cultural artifact was stolen from the most visible iconic structure in the world, the Parthenon of Athens, built over 2500 years ago, under the authority of Pericles.
What would Pericles say today? Perhaps something like this: “It is indisputable – there is no evidence as to its legality of ownership of the stolen so called, Elgin Marbles which were engineered and sculpted by Phidias under my directorship on the Acropolis of my proud City of Athens. The occupying Turks or the visiting English aristocrats had no authority to remove them from my city.”
A democratic process must be applied – A Parthenon Vote Day, a national plebiscite, by both nations to get immediate results.
If no consensus can be settled from the plebiscite, then the Hellenes could vote for the option to conditionally allow its status quo.
My fellow Hellenic heirs must request the following: A 99-year lease implying Hellenic ownership, to fund the cost of maintaining all the museums in Greece-whatever the cost is? Import taxes can be imposed on British Goods to Greece to collect for The Elgin Marble Fund.
Second, all visitors with Greek Passports visiting The British Museum to be treated, as VIPs!
Third, Greece and the UK must be signatories to ‘Treaty of Guarantee’ to provide military security for Greek Sovereignty from any invasion of its territories in the spirit of Lord Byron, who was on the right side of History!”
At last, but not least, Pericles, the original developer, and the Brit, Lord Byron, should be cited on this contentious issue!
Bill (Vassilis) G. Tourikis