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Should the Parthenon Marbles Be Returned to Greece? Essay

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I strongly think that the Parthenon marbles taken by Lord Elgin form Greece should be returned back to Greece because Lord Elgin did not have permission to take the marbles. The Greeks couldn’t do anything to stop Elgin at the time as they were part of the Ottoman Empire. All the other museums are retiring stolen artefacts so why shouldn’t the British museum do the same thing to stop 2 centuries of bad feeling?

Lord Elgin did not have any permission to take the Parthenon marbles and so they should be returned because he only had permission to take pieces from the ground. And in fact, we are not even sure if he had permission, since the English translation of the 1801 document was found to be a forgery. But even if it was real, by royal decree, it basically gave Elgin permission ‘to examine and view’, so the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire probably never thought that Elgin would remove the paintings, sculptures or marbles. Due to the fact that Lord Elgin took the marble without permission and therefore technically stole the marble, and since the marble was stolen, the British Museum must return it.

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The Greeks could not do anything to stop Lord Elgin, although they wanted to, they could not, since they were no longer an individual country and were united into part of the Ottoman Empire, and the Ottoman Empire did not allow the Greeks to express their opinions and feelings, or prevent Elgin from taking Parthenon marble. It should now be clear that now that the Greeks are no longer part of the Ottoman Empire, they immediately voiced their opinion and demanded that the Parthenon marble be returned to them, however, this was almost immediately denied. But now the British Museum must rectify the situation by accepting their demand and return the Parthenon marble to the Greeks once and for all.

“All cultural treasures from ancient civilizations belong in the place that they came from”. This was a famous quote that a lot of big and respectable museums such museum such as Sweden, Germany, America and the Vatican all have acknowledged and agreed upon this quote and returned all the artefacts back to the Acropolis. Since all other museums have seen the point in this, the British Museum should do the same, rip a leaf out of their book and return the marbles back to Greece, and finally put an end to all the grievances they have had against each other for the last 2 centuries because for possession of the Parthenon marble.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that the Parthenon marbles should be returned because, in the first place, Lord Elgin never had permission to take the Parthenon marbles, so formally Lord Elgin stole them. Then the Greeks were not an independent country, since they were part of the Ottoman Empire, so they could not take any action or express their opinion against Elgin due to the taking of the Parthenon marble. Last but not least, the quote “Cultural treasures from ancient civilizations belong in places where they came from” is a quote that many major museums, such as Sweden, Germany, America and the Vatican, have agreed to and returned the Parthenon marble, and the British should do the same.

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Should the Parthenon Marbles Be Returned to Greece? Essay. (2022, October 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from
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