The Marbles—Elgin or Parthenon?

A Case for the Restitution of Cultural Property

National Geographic Society
Gilbert H. Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M. St. NW
Thursday, March 13, 2003 – 7:00 PM

Join distinguished British film and television producer, William Stewart, for a fascinating look at the controversy surrounding the famed sculptures removed from the Parthenon by British Diplomat Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, at a time when Greece was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.
In this illustrated presentation, Stewart will discuss how the “Elgin Marbles,” currently housed in the British Museum, were removed from the monument that symbolizes Athenian democracy and Greek cultural identity. He will also review the British Government’s arguments for continuing to hold the Marbles in Britain, as well as the international campaign for their return to Greece.
In a spirit of cooperation and partnership with the British Museum, Greece proposes the reunification of these sculptures (about half of which are in Athens and half in London) in their historical setting, next to the temple of which they constituted an integral part. They would be displayed in the new Acropolis Museum that is being built in time for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

At a time when questions of cultural ownership and restitution of
cultural property are widely debated, the Parthenon Marbles are a unique case that has generated international interest among museum directors, archaeologists and conservators.

A fellow of the Royal Television Academy, and a member of its Hall of Fame, Mr. Stewart produced and presented in 1996, on Channel Four, his documentary on the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens. Since 1998, he has lectured at the European Parliament in Strasburg, at UNESCO in Paris, in Athens, and in the United States and Canada.

For reservations, contact The National Geographic Society at 202-857-7700, or at Tickets are $10 per person.

(Posted originally March 2003; reformatted February 2007)

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