27 May 2007
Parthenon (Elgin) Marbles Parliamentary Motion Hailed
“The motion passed last Thursday by members of New Zealand’s Parliament, which urges the British Government to return the Parthenon (Elgin) Marbles back to Greece, joins the growing number of countries and international organisations also calling for their return” said Bruce Blades, Chairman of the New Zealand Parthenon Marbles Committee.
“The Marble sculptures were sawn off and stripped from the Parthenon building on the Acropolis in Athens by the then British Ambassador Lord Elgin 200 years ago, at the time when Greece was under Turkish rule. This action has been a matter of deep controversy ever since. Lord Elgin sold the Marbles to the British Government which holds them in the British Museum. Half are in Athens and half are in London. Countries throughout the world are joining the call for the Marbles to be reunited so that the magnificence of these sculptures can be truly appreciated in the place of their origin.”
The text of the motion put forward reads:-
"That this House joins its voice to that of other countries throughout the world and urges the British Government to support the return of the Parthenon (Elgin) marbles to Greece, stressing the need for the collections of marbles in different locations to be reunited so the world can see them in their original context in relation to the Temple of Parthenon as an act of respect to one of the most significant monuments of western heritage."
The motion was agreed to.
“As long as the Marbles remain in the British Museum, our New Zealand Committee will continue to inform the public of the plunder carried out by Lord Elgin when he desecrated the classical Parthenon building” said Mr Blades.