The Pantheon Marbles custody case
The Pantheon Marbles are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions and architectural members. This collection was originally part of the Parthenon temple and other buildings around it on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece.
They are a masterpiece for ancient Greek art and a treasure for the world.
Those statues as always been part of the Pantheon complex until the Turkish conquered Greece and gained the power allover its artifacts and properties.
It had been relatively easy for Thomas Bruce, the seventh earl of Elgin, Britain, to buy from the Ottomans’ ambassador a wide range of art pieces for a low price.
He removed 56 pieces from the temple’s frieze, 15 metopes, and 17 pediment sculptures, plus a caryatid and a column from a nearby temple; and he exported them in his own courtyard.
After few year he found himself forced to sell the collection to the British nation which deposited it in the British Museum for safekeeping, where it is still today.
But long before their arrival in England those statues had been battered by wars, fires, earthquakes, wipeouts, destructions by sawing off chunks of sculptures and other kind of damage. They have been scrubbed, cleaned with abrasive substances and eventually re-begrimed again with stained wax.
Since Greece got back its independence, the folk and the politic leaders have been fighting to take the Pantheon Marbles back home as well as Britain has fought to keep them in the British National museum. The case had been brought even to the European Union’s Court of Justice but the marbles are still nowadays so far from their native place.
Throughout the history of the world many nations has lost important pieces of their art as well as other countries and populations have stolen them. Whether it’s right to keep those masterpieces or give them back to their owner is a very controversial issue and the world hasn’t found