George Clooney agrees that Britain should do the right thing and return the statues stolen by Lord Elgin from the Parthenon in Athens. Clooney, joined by Matt Damon and Bill Murray made this statement to the London Paper The Guardian while promoting his film The Monument Men, which is about rescuing art and artifacts.
And now the British Museum is sticking a thumb in the eye of the Greeks with a brand new exhibit on the human body in Greek Art–featuring guess what? The Parthenon statues of course. Why? Because, as this article in the Guardian points out, the Greek artifacts are a real money maker for the British Museum. Attendance was up last year by 20%, and the Parthenon art has been one of the major draws for years, even supporting its own audio tour and gift shop. The Guardian, in an article about the new Greek sculpture show said,
…director Neil MacGregor said the exhibition, planned for next spring, would include “key loans”, he refused to say whether the museum will be seeking any of the sculptures from the Parthenon temple thatGreece still holds or any other loans from Greece.
Ever since I visited the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, I have felt strongly that Great Britain should do the right thing and give back the statues from the Parthenon.
I’ve written frequently about my strong feelings about this looted art, and am so glad to have George Clooney in bed with me…oh, wait a minute….that’s not quite the right phrase, is it?
Here are the articles at A Traveler’s Library, starting with the very first book I reviewed at A Traveler’s Library.
Loot, a review of a book about collecting antiquities of other countries.
The new Acropolis Museum in Athens, and quotes from an article by Christopher Hitchens.
A video about the New Acropolis Museum in this post about Greek Week at A Traveler’s Library.
You can get an idea of the strongly felt feelings on the issue from the comments on YouTube about this video (48 minutes). If the whole thing is too long for you, don’t miss actor Steven Fry, starting at just after 12 minutes in.