Free The Marbles (Bring Them Back To Life) - Australian Petition
- Australian Government
Greek Ambassadors is a member of “Australians for the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures Committee” which is member organisation of the “International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures”.
Greece has been seeking the return of the Parthenon Marbles (or Sculptures) for around 200 years, from the time they were unlawfully ripped from the Acropolis façade and sold to the British Museum by British Ambassador Lord Elgin. The Marbles’ fate has since been their imprisonment in a foreign land, deprived of the air and light of the Athenian sky which once gave them life and splendor.
For two centuries they have been kept against their will within the British Museum’s four walls, waiting to be rescued and reunited with their family. To be brought back to life at the new state of the art and purpose built Acropolis Museum in Athens, which displays the remaining marbles in a glass gallery, bathed in natural light, and a mere 280 meters away from their home, the Parthenon.
For years, the British Museum have refused to return the Marbles. When Melina Mercouri, international actress and former Greek Cultural Minister confronted David Wilson, Director of the British Museum at the time, this was the response she received:
“So you’ll ruin the British Museum. You want your marbles and other people want their marbles”.
Clearly, the British Museum’s key concern has been to stop their museum from being emptied as other countries demand the return of their treasures. Their claims have over the years been false at times petty and insulting. This includes that the Marbles were bought legitimately from the Turks, that the Greeks were indifferent to the fate of their ancient treasures, that air pollution levels in Athens would damage the Marbles, and that the Greeks had nowhere to properly house them.
These are lies! The truth is that:
• Evidence points to the Marbles being taken illegally through bribing of Ottoman rulers, so British ownership of the Marbles is not legitimate
• The Greeks were occupied and oppressed by the Ottomans and had no power to stop this crime
• The sensitive Pentelic Marbles have actually sustained decay in London’s damp climate, and irreparable damage through poor cleaning practices at the Museum
• A purpose built museum opened in Athens in 2009 which exhibits a reconstruction of the remaining friezes as they would have appeared on the Parthenon, and as they should be displayed for the world to admire
A UNIQUE CASE
The Greek Government has declared that it will not claim the return of the thousands of other artefacts from Ancient Greece held in museums abroad. Though the case of the Parthenon Marbles is different because the Parthenon was a unique monument, a symbol of Athenian civilisation and democracy, and so its sculptures are best understood in context of where they were created.
Further, the Parthenon Marbles are a cultural property, a part of a Greek family heirloom whose value can only be fully realised and appreciated by the world, when they are viewed the way they were intended. Together and in harmony at their birthplace in Athens. Today, only 40% of the Marbles are located in the Acropolis Museum while 55% are at the British Museum.
To the Greeks, the Marbles hold special cultural, spiritual and symbolic value:
“You must understand what the Parthenon Marbles mean to us. They are our pride. They are our sacrifices. They are the supreme symbol of nobility. They are a tribute to democratic philosophy. They are our aspiration and our name. They are the essence of Greekness.” – Melina Mercouri
It’s not only the Greeks who are demanding the return of the Parthenon Marbles, but growingly an international community of people who recognise the importance of reuniting and restoring the completeness and integrity of these historically significant pieces of art. In fact, poll after poll shows that a majority of the British public also support their return (Around 80% of Britons surveyed).
Our former Prime Minister of Australia, the late Gough Whitlam was also a great advocate for the cause:
“The Parthenon Marbles are incomparably the finest examples of classical sculpture… Athens was the centre of ancient Greek culture and civilisation. Western civilisation and democracy were born in Athens. Since Australians are among the inheritors of those assets, we should do what we can to have the most significant symbols returned to Athens.”
Today, along with the new Mrs. Clooney, two other Australians are fighting this cause and helping Greece achieve the return of the Parthenon Marbles, Geoffrey Robertson, International Human Rights Lawyer, and business leader David Hill.
HAVE YOUR SAY!
The time has come to Free the Marbles and Bring them Back to Life!
The Greek Ambassadors have created this petition as part of their campaign to support the return of the Parthenon Marbles and to get behind our fellow Australians and the international community who is fighting for this important cause.
The marbles have suffered enough, the world has been deprived enough and the Greek people have been patient enough!
Get behind this campaign by signing the petition and sending a strong message to our country’s leaders that you demand their action on this matter.
Make sure your voice is heard by passing it on to as many people as you know and recruiting them to this campaign.
Have your say to help make history and to right this terrible injustice!
For more information about the Greek Ambassadors Free The Marbles (Bring them back to life) Campaign, please email us on email@example.com, or find us on facebook (Greek Ambassadors) and twitter @GreekAmbassado1.
We, the undersigned, call on the Australian Government to lobby the UK Government and persuade the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles to their rightful home in Athens, Greece.
You can further help this campaign by sponsoring it
The Free The Marbles (Bring Them Back To Life) - Australian Petition petition to Australian Government was written by Greek Ambassadors and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.