See Article History Alternative Title: Parthenon Sculptures Elgin Marbles, collection of ancient Greek sculptures and architectural details in the British MuseumLondonwhere they are now called the Parthenon Sculptures. The objects were removed from the Parthenon at Athens and from other ancient buildings and shipped to England by arrangement of Thomas Bruce, 7th Lord Elginwho was British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire — The removal created a storm of controversy that exemplified questions about the ownership of cultural artifacts and the return of antiquities to their places of origin.
Before his departure to take up the post he had approached officials of the British government to inquire if they would be interested in employing artists to take casts and drawings of the sculptured portions of the Parthenon. According to Lord Elgin, "the answer of the Government Parthenon Frieze and Metopes of the Parthenon The Parthenon Marbles acquired by Elgin include some 21 figures from the statuary from the east and west pediments15 of an original 92 metope panels depicting battles between the Lapiths and the Centaursas well as 75 meters of the Parthenon Frieze which decorated the horizontal course set above the interior architrave of the temple.
As such, they represent more than half of what now remains of the surviving sculptural decoration of the Parthenon.
Legality of the removal from Athens[ edit ] The Acropolis was at that time an Ottoman military fort, so Elgin required special permission to enter the site, the Parthenon, and the surrounding buildings.
He stated that he had obtained a firman from the Sultan which allowed his artists to access the site, but he was unable to produce the original documentation. However, Elgin presented a document claimed to be an English translation of an Italian copy made at the time.
This document is now kept in the British Museum. Vassilis Demetriades, Professor of Turkish Studies at the University of Crete, has argued that "any expert in Ottoman diplomatic language can easily ascertain that the original of the document which has survived was not a firman".
The report said that the document  in the appendix was an accurate translation, in English, of an Ottoman firman dated July The committee was told that the original document was given to Ottoman officials in Athens in Researchers have so far failed to locate it despite the fact that the Ottoman archives in Istanbul still hold a number of similar documents dating from the same period.
Hunt, who at the time resided in Bedford, was the last witness to appear before the committee and stated that he had in his possession an Italian translation of the Ottoman original.
He went on to explain that he had not brought the document, because, upon leaving Bedford, he was not aware that he was to testify as a witness.
The committee report states on page 69 " Signed with a signet. Seged Abdullah Kaimacan" - however, the document presented to the committee was "an English translation of this purported translation into Italian of the original firman",  and had neither signet nor signature on it, a fact corroborated by St.
Clair, Lord Elgin and the Marbles, stated the sultan did not allow the removal of statues and reliefs from the Parthenon.
The interpretation of these lines has been questioned even by non-restitutionalists,   particularly the word qualche, which in modern language should be translated as a few but can also mean any.
According to non-restitutionalists, further evidence that the removal of the sculptures by Elgin was approved by the Ottoman authorities is shown by a second firman which was required for the shipping of the marbles from the Piraeus. Cardozo School of Law concluded that the premise that Elgin obtained legal title to the marbles, which he then transferred to the British government, "is certainly not established and may well be false".
The text from the committee report reads "We therefore have written this Letter to you, and expedited it by Mr. Clair Italian document the actual wording is "We therefore have written this letter to you and expedited it by N.
Philip Hunt" with the initials "N. Thus, according to Rudenstine, "Hunt put himself in a position in which he could simultaneously vouch for the authenticity of the document and explain why he alone had a copy of it fifteen years after he surrendered the original to Ottoman officials in Athens".
On two earlier occasions, Elgin stated that the Ottomans gave him written permissions more than once, but that he had "retained none of them.Return of Elgin Marbles 'would ruin museums' 10 Oct Not according to the British Museum, which says he acted with the full knowledge and permission of the Ottoman authorities, removed about half of the remaining sculptures from the fallen ruins and from the building itself.
The Elgin Marbles Graham Barclay / BWP Media / Getty Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin and ambassador to the Ottoman Empire — occupiers of Greece in the early 19th century — grew to admire the Parthenon's extensive collection of ancient marble sculptures and began extracting and expatriating them to Britain in From , Elgin exhibited the marbles that had arrived in Britain in a house that he leased in Park Lane, near Piccadilly in London.
The display was a sensation, attracting a huge number of artists and academics. Jun 08, · News about Elgin Marbles. Commentary and archival information about Elgin Marbles from The New York Times. The Elgin Marbles receive their name from the British lord who craftily spirited them away from Greece.
Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin and ambassador to the Ottoman Empire — occupiers of Greece in the early 19th century — grew to admire the Parthenon's extensive collection of ancient marble sculptures and began extracting and expatriating them to Britain in Jun 08, · Greece is lobbying hard to have the so-called Elgin marbles, Britain's portion of the Parthenon frieze, returned to Athens in time for the Summer Olympic Games.