Parthenon Marbles Repository - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15262111
I'm going to deposit arguments and sources in a crude manner before I collate them.

History:

W L C Knight, an “official on the Greek desk at the Foreign Office” (Consul-General, Tunis, 1937–40; Basra, 1942–46; Athens, 1946; Salonica, 1946–49;) was tasked to provide an expert opinion in 1941:
“The task of collating the expert opinion and drafting a memorandum for Ministers was undertaken by the official on the Greek desk at the Foreign Office, Mr W.L.C. Knight. Knight took the view that a decision on the general question of return should be reached in the fairly near future, invoking not only Britain’s exceptional relations with Greece, but also the interest now being taken in the question by the British public, as shown by the recent correspondence in The Times. Of the letters published the great majority were in favour of the marbles being restored to Greece. But since some time might be needed for this decision, he suggested a non-committal reply to Miss Cazalet’s question, along the lines followed word for word in Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden’s final recommendation that the present moment is inopportune for a final decision on a subject which raises several important issues, and has given rise to so much controversy in the past; but that His Majesty’s Government will not fail to give the matter their careful and sympathetic consideration.
Knight also suggested that, if return were eventually decided on, the best time for it would be after the war when transport would again be safe: ‘It would thus set the seal on Anglo-Greek friendship and collaboration in the way that would most appeal short of the cession of Cyprus – to Greek patriotic sentiment’. And he concluded:

‘For the gift to be complete and completely acceptable it should comprise, in addition to the Parthenon friezes, the Caryatid and the column from the Erechtheum which all together constitute the Elgin Marbles.’
Once ready, the Knight Memorandum was passed up the line accompanied by a note from his immediate superior, Mr (later Sir) James Bowker (Deputy Head of the South-East European Department), in which he said:
‘Everything points to a decision in principle to return the Elgin marbles to Greece on certain conditions, as enumerated in Mr Knight’s memorandum. In order that the memorandum should be quite complete I think it should include recommendations, and I have appended a draft final paragraph accordingly.’ ”
[This is an extract from “ ‘Position of the Foreign Office in 1941’ Published by the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles © Copyright 2001. All Rights Reserved”].
I’m impressed that matters like this were seen as important enough to be considered at a high level in government while we were just two years into World War II and the outcome still uncertain!

https://davidallengreen.com/2023/01/the ... n-marbles/



On Osborne's motives to return them now:

Greece has already won the legal case and now the international community as represented by UNESCO recognizes Greek legal ownership of the Parthenon Marbles.
Britain should give them back and be done with it before this "special case" turns into the mainstream thus emptying the British Museum entirely.
That is what Osborne is actually trying to do. Save the British Museum from going empty by the precedent of having to change the British Museum Act as instructed by UNESCO to take this matter to governmental level.

https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000379856
DECISION 22.COM 61The Committee,
1.Recalling Article 4, paragraphs 1 and 2 of its Statutes,
2.Noting that the request for the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures is inscribed in its Agenda since 1984,
3.Recalling its 16 Recommendations on the matter,
4.Recalling further that the Parthenon is an emblematic monument of outstanding universal value inscribed on the World Heritage List,
5.Aware of the legitimate and rightful demand of Greece,
6.Acknowledging that Greece requested the United Kingdom in 2013 to enter into mediation in accordance to the UNESCO Rules of Procedure for Mediation and Conciliation,
7. Recognizing that the case has an intergovernmental character and, therefore, the obligation to return the Parthenon Sculptures lies squarely on the United Kingdom Government,
8.Expresses its deep concern that the issue still remains pending;
9.Expresses, further, its disappointment that its respective recommendations have not been observed by the United Kingdom;


Daniel Hannan(leader of the Brexit campaign) calls Greek people Slavs, misquotes Byzantine Greek Emperor in the process:

The Byzantine emperor and historian Constantine VII tells us that, by his day, the entire area had been “overrun by Slavs and lost to civilization”."


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/0 ... humanitys/


Reply:

The Byzantine Emperor & Historian was a Greek, the same kind of Greek Emperor that defended against the Slavic raids and repopulated the war-torn areas. The guy is using a Greek emperor and historian to argue for the extinction of the Greeks!


Moreover, he is misquoting Constantine by misdirecting the reader about the area which Constantine is talking about, primarily Macedonia except for Salonica.

Also:

Constantine VII's De Administrando Imperio:[21]
"Be it known that the inhabitants of Castle Maina are not from the race of aforesaid Slavs (Melingoi and Ezeritai dwelling on the Taygetus) but from the older Romaioi, who up to the present time are termed Hellenes by the local inhabitants on account of their being in olden times idolatres and worshippers of idols like the ancient Greeks, and who were baptized and became Christians in the reign of the glorious Basil. The place in which they live is waterless and inaccessible, but has olives from which they gain some consolation."


David Abulafia, Professor of History at Cambridge University claims in Telegraph article that Greek people cannot claim Classical & Byzantine Heritage at the same time.


....for many Greeks, Greek identity still revolves not around the classical past but the Greek Orthodox Church and its Byzantine heritage.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/0 ... n-marbles/


As if these are mutually exclusive or that identity is a zero-sum game.

Reply:

What a bunch of nationalist tosh coming from a Professor of Cambridge.
Modern Greek people have classical Greek and Byzantine Christian heritage in equal measure. Greek identity is not a zero-sum game.
It is quite hilarious how zero-sum applies only to Greek people in a desperate & racist attempt to divorce them from their own identity.
Prof. Anthony D. Smith , Nationalism and Modernism, page 191, Cambridge University Press:
"Again, one could point to both ethnic continuity and ethnic recurrence.
Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Persians, Chinese and Japanese could be cited as examples of ethnic continuity, since, despite massive cultural changes over the centuries, certain key identifying components—name, language, customs, religious community and territorial association—were broadly maintained and reproduced for millennia."
Second, Britain has neither legal nor moral argument. Elgin stole the Metopes of the Parthenon causing more damage than Venetian artillery according to his own British witnesses:
Edward Daniel Clarke witnessed the removal of the metopes and called the action a "spoliation", writing that "thus the form of the temple has sustained a greater injury than it had already experienced from the Venetian artillery," and that "neither was there a workman employed in the undertaking ... who did not express his concern that such havoc should be deemed necessary, after moulds and casts had been already made of all the sculpture which it was designed to remove."[55] When Sir Francis Ronalds visited Athens and Giovanni Battista Lusieri in 1820, he wrote that "If Lord Elgin had possessed real taste in lieu of a covetous spirit he would have done just the reverse of what he has, he would have removed the rubbish and left the antiquities."[56][57]



Are the London marbles better preserved than the ones in Greece?

No, not really:

"The 14 slabs that Elgin did not remove revealed a surprising array of original details, such as the original chisel marks and the veins on the horses' bellies. Similar features in the British Museum collection have been scraped and scrubbed with chisels to make the marbles look white.[95][96]"

wiki


Are the Brits worse than both Ottomans and Nazis?

When it comes to looting the Parthenon, definitely so. Both Ottomans and Germans treated it as sacred.

Lord Byron strongly objected to the removal of the marbles from Greece, denouncing Elgin as a vandal.[52] In his narrative poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, published in 1812, he wrote in relation to the Parthenon:[53]

Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
By British hands, which it had best behoved
To guard those relics ne'er to be restored.
Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved,
And once again thy hapless bosom gored,
And snatch'd thy shrinking gods to northern climes abhorred!

Byron was not the only one to protest against the removal at the time. Sir John Newport said:[54]
The Honourable Lord has taken advantage of the most unjustifiable means and has committed the most flagrant pillages. It was, it seems, fatal that a representative of our country loot those objects that the Turks and other barbarians had considered sacred.

Edward Daniel Clarke witnessed the removal of the metopes and called the action a "spoliation", writing that "thus the form of the temple has sustained a greater injury than it had already experienced from the Venetian artillery," and that "neither was there a workman employed in the undertaking ... who did not express his concern that such havoc should be deemed necessary, after moulds and casts had been already made of all the sculpture which it was designed to remove."[55] When Sir Francis Ronalds visited Athens and Giovanni Battista Lusieri in 1820, he wrote that "If Lord Elgin had possessed real taste in lieu of a covetous spirit he would have done just the reverse of what he has, he would have removed the rubbish and left the antiquities."[56][57]

-wiki
#15262240
Save the text, not the pictures. If you want it to be a repository. Pictures disappear or get deleted, texts are eternal :D
#15262242
Thanks for the tip, that is true actually, especially since the server is outside PoFo.

More:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/0 ... l-decline/

Nick Matheson
26 MIN AGO
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There is zero hope when the British right-winghers are the most woke creatures on the planet.
British nationalists call Europeans and the EU "Nazis", openly and shamelessly. They deny Greek ownership of the Parthenon itself and claim British ownership over Greek national buildings and culture.
How can these people be respected or even taken for granted when they have lost all measure of truth, honesty and respect? EDITED


AM

Ann Murray
24 MIN AGO
REPLY TO EDITED POST
Reply to Nick Matheson
Bit early to be hitting the bottle?



GT

Guy Trucks
21 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Do you have any understanding of what 'woke' is?


SF

Semper Faemina
21 MIN AGO
Reply to Ann Murray
Hic


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Nick Matheson
20 MIN AGO
Reply to Ann Murray
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Cannot make wine with sour grapes Ann. Lots of sourness but no argument.


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Semper Faemina
18 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Acid retort.


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Nick Matheson
18 MIN AGO
Reply to Semper Faemina
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The truth hurts.


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Nick Matheson
16 MIN AGO
Reply to Guy Trucks
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Outraged liars that undermine native cultures.
Check, check, check and check.


Paul Waterman
8 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
No Nick, you cannot debate or argue against an incoherent post containing no facts. Reply here, amending your obvious errors and either pointing to some basis for your assertion or admitting it’s just a straw man. Or simply delete it and try again: it’s bilge from start to finish.


PW

Paul Waterman
7 MIN AGO
Reply to Paul Waterman
Oh and btw, just so you know where I stand on this issue, I think the Parthenon marbles should be gifted from our government to the Greeks.


Nick Matheson
7 MIN AGO
Reply to Paul Waterman
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Point out the obvious "errors" before you make any more nonsense.
Daniel Hannan has made a career in here by posting youtube videos of him calling the EU Parliament "Nazis" and denying Greek ancestry & ownership of the Parthenon:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/0 ... humanitys/ EDITED


barbara mccabe
5 MIN AGO
Reply to Paul Waterman
the Greeks were going to throw them out which is why Lord Elgin saved them.

Nick Matheson
False.
The Greeks were giving their own bullets to the Ottomans to prevent them from melting the lead on the statues.
The Marbles in Greece are in a far superior condition than the ones in London.
"The 14 slabs that Elgin did not remove revealed a surprising array of original details, such as the original chisel marks and the veins on the horses' bellies. Similar features in the British Museum collection have been scraped and scrubbed with chisels to make the marbles look white.[95][96]"
-wiki
And Elgin caused more damage to the Parthenon than Venetian cannons as his own British entourage testified.
"Edward Daniel Clarke witnessed the removal of the metopes and called the action a "spoliation", writing that "thus the form of the temple has sustained a greater injury than it had already experienced from the Venetian artillery," and that "neither was there a workman employed in the undertaking ... who did not express his concern that such havoc should be deemed necessary, after moulds and casts had been already made of all the sculpture which it was designed to remove."[55] When Sir Francis Ronalds visited Athens and Giovanni Battista Lusieri in 1820, he wrote that "If Lord Elgin had possessed real taste in lieu of a covetous spirit he would have done just the reverse of what he has, he would have removed the rubbish and left the antiquities."
He also did so without permission or authorisation from anybody.


A random User
2 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
I think it's more a "victimhood" phenomenon.
Blaming the EU is standard fare for underformong governments across Europe, but British right winghers have turned into an art, or into victimhood.
#15262252
Telegraph Comments wrote:Nick Matheson
1 HR AGO
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Audience matters indeed as the Brits prove time and again, would any British right-wingher dare tell a Greek person to his face that the Brits own the Parthenon?
Of course not, but they tell it to each other with zero compulsion as well as claiming that "Greeks are not really Greeks" or that "Brits are better Greeks than Greeks" but lament when the woke undermine Britishness.
Would any British right-wingher admit that Elgin's loot of the Parthenon was worse than Nazis? Of course not, but they will call the EU, "Nazi" with pomp and fanfare. EDITED

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Em Bo
57 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Not really. Lots of people have stated publicly that the Marbles should not be returned. And, you know, anonymous internet forums (such as this) are designed to allow people to let off steam.

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Nick Matheson
55 MIN AGO
Reply to Em Bo
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If it is ok to disrespect others to let off steam then why would anything different apply to Harry?

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Petre Norton
54 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
No one has suggested the Brits own the Parthenon, nor do they claim to be better Greeks than the Greeks. What a strange comment!
Elgin's looting of the Parthenon was not worse than the Nazis. Another bizarre claim! Are you really equating the Final Solution with taking some bits of stone?

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Nick Matheson
50 MIN AGO
Reply to Petre Norton
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The British government openly claims to own the structural walls of the Parthenon.
British academics openly claim that "Britain looks after the Marbles better than Greeks" but more importantly British classicists claim and have claimed that "Greeks were lost to history" and that "Britain is the most valid successor of Athens and Pericles".
Was Daniel Hannan claiming that the EU parliament equates to the Final Solution when he called them "Nazis"? Of course not. This is called a straw-man.
But the Nazis did not loot the Parthenon, the British did and caused more damage than Venetian cannons. In this respect, British policy in regards to the Parthenon was and still is worse than Nazis. EDITED

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Karenina Bennett
48 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Were the marbles "looted"?

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Nick Matheson
47 MIN AGO
Reply to Karenina Bennett
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Yes

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Nick Matheson
47 MIN AGO
Reply to Karenina Bennett
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Sir John Newport said:[54]
The Honourable Lord has taken advantage of the most unjustifiable means and has committed the most flagrant pillages. It was, it seems, fatal that a representative of our country loot those objects that the Turks and other barbarians had considered sacred.
Edward Daniel Clarke witnessed the removal of the metopes and called the action a "spoliation", writing that "thus the form of the temple has sustained a greater injury than it had already experienced from the Venetian artillery," and that "neither was there a workman employed in the undertaking ... who did not express his concern that such havoc should be deemed necessary, after moulds and casts had been already made of all the sculpture which it was designed to remove."[55] When Sir Francis Ronalds visited Athens and Giovanni Battista Lusieri in 1820, he wrote that "If Lord Elgin had possessed real taste in lieu of a covetous spirit he would have done just the reverse of what he has, he would have removed the rubbish and left the antiquities."[56][57]
-wiki

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Karenina Bennett
47 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
You mean items that were owned by Jewish individuals, stolen from them, some still in German hands, and the Elgin Marbles are worse?

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Nick Matheson
45 MIN AGO
Reply to Karenina Bennett
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Jewish people were compensated for the loot that was taken from them where possible or at the very least Jewish people's property was recognised as stolen and looted.
The British government still refuses to return the loot or even recognize the ownership of those people that lost their property from British hands, to this very day.
So yes, British policy when it comes to the Parthenon is worse than Nazi policy for the same. EDITED

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Karenina Bennett
37 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
No.
Some Jewish people have still not been compensated.
You cannot be "compensated" for personal possessions.
Repeating "loot" does not make it right, despite what Harry might say.

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Nick Matheson
34 MIN AGO
Reply to Karenina Bennett
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1) Jewish people's property plight from WW2 if not wholly compensated has been recognized as true.
Britain has still not recognized the Parthenon Marbles as owned by Greece despite the fact that the entire UN has done so via UNESCO.
https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000379856
2) It was Elgin's own entourage that called his action a "loot" and a "pillage":
Sir John Newport said:[54]
The Honourable Lord has taken advantage of the most unjustifiable means and has committed the most flagrant pillages. It was, it seems, fatal that a representative of our country loot those objects that the Turks and other barbarians had considered sacred.
Edward Daniel Clarke witnessed the removal of the metopes and called the action a "spoliation", writing that "thus the form of the temple has sustained a greater injury than it had already experienced from the Venetian artillery," and that "neither was there a workman employed in the undertaking ... who did not express his concern that such havoc should be deemed necessary, after moulds and casts had been already made of all the sculpture which it was designed to remove."[55] When Sir Francis Ronalds visited Athens and Giovanni Battista Lusieri in 1820, he wrote that "If Lord Elgin had possessed real taste in lieu of a covetous spirit he would have done just the reverse of what he has, he would have removed the rubbish and left the antiquities."[56][57]
-wiki EDITED

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Karenina Bennett
33 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
We are talking about your comparison with Nazi Germany.

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Nick Matheson
31 MIN AGO
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I'm talking about the fact that British right-whingers whine about the woke undermining their culture and removing their cultural agency by demanding British culture and status be removed or censored while the same right-whingers are denying Greek ownership and agency over Greek culture and buildings.
Why would anyone take British right-whingers seriously? Or respect them as good faith interlocutors? EDITED

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Karenina Bennett
29 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Why would anyone take someone seriously who insults people who do not share their view as right-whingers, when it is mainly the left that do the whinging?

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Nick Matheson
28 MIN AGO
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But as far as I am concerned, it is British right-whingers that are doing the whinging calling the EU, "Nazis" and denying me my own culture & heritage.

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Karenina Bennett
27 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
What is your culture and heritage?

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Nick Matheson
27 MIN AGO
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As an uber conservative part Greek, why would I take British right whingers seriously when they do not take my own heritage seriously?

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Keith Grainger
16 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
So there we have it. What is your take on the genocide of Turkish Cypriots by the Geek EOKA? Or is that an inconvenient truth?

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Nick Matheson
14 MIN AGO
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The Greek government had appealed in 1954 to the United Nations to demand self-determination for Cyprus. Britain had a ruling mandate over the mostly ethnic Greek island, and wanted the Cyprus dispute to be resolved without being taken to the United Nations Security Council, due to fears of how the Greek and Greek Cypriot parties would portray the conflict.[17][36] To this end, the British government resolved to temper Greek demands by encouraging the Turkish government to publicly express their support for Turkish-Cypriot cause, which they estimated would ensure the issue would not reach the UN Security Council. British reports from the period made disparate assessments on the state of Greco-Turkish relations; one by the British Embassy on August 1954 stated that the relationship was of a superficial nature and that a minor source of tension, such as a hypothetical Greek destruction of Atatürk's house in Thessaloniki, would cause permanent damage; while an official of the Foreign Office said that a stern stance towards Greece would be to Turkey's benefit. MP John Strachey warned that Turkey had a large ethnic Greek minority in Istanbul as a card to play against Greece if it considered annexing an independent Cyprus against the wishes of Turkish-Cypriots.[37]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul_pogrom
What is your position for the British government playing divide & conquer openly agitating for Pogroms, Ethnic-Cleansing, Genocide and Partition in Cyprus despite promising to hand it over to Greece in both World Wars?
Yet another event, where Britain proved to be worse than Nazis when it came to Greek genocide, perfidiousness, honour and respect in particular. EDITED

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Keith Grainger
8 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
If you believe the Marxist Wikipediia then you are very far from the truth. However, divide and conquer is a tool of all regimes, and never more so than in the UK today. Or in Greece.

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Nick Matheson
6 MIN AGO
Reply to Keith Grainger
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The statements of British officials are sourced directly from the Foreign Office Archives.
Yet another event, where Britain proved to be worse than Nazis when it came to Greek genocide, perfidiousness, honour and respect in particular.
Divide & Conquer is not to be used against Allies that were bled dry in British wars.
Nor is it honourable to deny ownership of the Parthenon against the Greek nation that has always been on the side of Britain while whinging about the woke.

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Karenina Bennett
6 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Who is not taking your heritage seriously?
Likening the UK to the Nazis is deeply offensive.

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Nick Matheson
4 MIN AGO
Reply to Karenina Bennett
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While British right-whingers likening the EU to "Nazis", is not?
The UK has treated Greece and Cyprus with utter and total contempt worse than the Nazis treated Greece and its heritage.
It is in fact an absolutely true statement that Britain still maintains due to her refusal to recognise Greek ownership over the Parthenon itself.

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Karenina Bennett
5 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
I can't think why you bother to live here (I assume that you do).

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Nick Matheson
3 MIN AGO
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I can't think why you expect to be considered as better than Nazis when the best you can come up with is "go away foreigner".

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Karenina Bennett
2 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Most of us do not liken the EU to Nazis.
It is you talking about Nazis, no one else.

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Nick Matheson
JUST NOW
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You do not protest when other Brits do, certainly not how you are protesting against a Greek person calling you out for failing to recognise Greek ownership over the Parthenon. EDITED

Karenina Bennett
45 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
You like wiki. There you go - Godwin's Law https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

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Nick Matheson
43 MIN AGO
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Godwin's law applies to British right-whingers calling the EU " Nazi" for no reason.
Cypriot and Constantinopolitan victims of genocide due to British dishonorable colonialism against its own allies in the 50's have very good cause to consider the British worse than Nazis.
Especially when British policy to deny them ownership over their own cultural heritage remains active and ongoing to this very day. EDITED

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Karenina Bennett
40 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Give it a rest, Nick.
You aren't getting any support by likening people to Nazis. EDITED

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Nick Matheson
39 MIN AGO
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I do not care about your support, I never had it and never will.
This article in the Telegraph by Nick, is about the truth which you are all so allergic to. EDITED

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Karenina Bennett
38 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Well, no, you've made sure of that!

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Nick Matheson
37 MIN AGO
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Great! I'm satisfied with proving hypocrisy rather than rallying support.

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Karenina Bennett
36 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
What precisely is your point if you do not wish to rally support for your cause?
Your posts in that case have been a total waste of time for your cause.

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Nick Matheson
35 MIN AGO
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Don't worry about it Karenina, the point is quite obvious and proven not just by assumptions but by your actions.

#15262257
If someone has the subscription to the Telegraph (which I do), go there yourself and read even more juicy debates.

My stance is rather simple.
1. noemon's proposition (British Museum recognises Greek ownership and then negotiate a term to have the exhibited on loan) is perfect, but
2. We need to prevent a slippery slope which may not be the best interests of the artefacts in concern.

Let me quote another of noemon's comments to illustrate part 2.

Gene Freeman
1 DAY AGO
Michelle Donelan is doing a great job so far. One of the very few in Cabinet.
We have had enough of wokist nationalism. Scotland is wired into this toxic soup. Brexit is a failed legacy of the charlatan wokery of Boris. He has no principles. This places him one on one with the likes of another failed charlatan George Osborne.
Donelan is wholly correct to say this matter is a slippery slope. Those pressing for it - as Osborne - are doing so for odious political scoring, nothing to do with the cultural value of the Marbles to the world.


Nick Matheson
1 DAY AGO
Reply to Gene Freeman - view message
Donelan the politician is pandering to British nationalists and Brexiteers as does Daniel Hannan for the past decade, no matter the egregiousness.
Osborne, is trying to save the British Museum because UNESCO has recognised Greek ownership and ordered the British government to change the BM Act and hand them over. Osborne is now wanting to treat the Parthenon Marbles as a "special case" and save the government and the British Museum from having to change the Act.
The Marbles you can forget already, it is the rest of the collection that you need to worry about unless Britain acts fast to return them. EDITED



Sorry noemon, but this part bolded by me is exactly the Pandora's box I fear most.
Greece is a stable and free country but this cannot be said for many if not most of those having "looted stuff" exhibiting in the British Museum.

For example, I certainly won't trust any Islamic countries (Egypt included, sadly) possessing any of them.
#15262265
Nick Matheson
1 HR AGO
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The destruction of truth is a British right-winge pastime.
This entire audience revels in calling the EU "Nazi".
It revels on claiming British ownership over foreign cultural buildings like the Parthenon and others.
It revels on lying and hypnotising the British public into oblivion.
It deserves everything it gets from the woke and more, because Britain invented the faux pas and nonsense universal reasons to justify the looting it engaged in.
"We didn't loot the Parthenon, we saved it".
"We did not loot the Benin Bronzes just took them as compensation for our invasion in Benin."
"We do not hate Europeans or are racist, we just hate the EU, the Polish, the Albanians, the Syrians, the French and anyone who disagrees with us". EDITED

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Peter Turner
59 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
That's quite a rant. Do you really believe it all?

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Nick Matheson
58 MIN AGO
Reply to Peter Turner
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Is there something that is not true?
Harry is claiming to save the Royals from themselves just like the entire nation is claiming to save the Parthenon Marbles from the Greeks. EDITED

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Peter Turner
58 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Not according to you, perhaps.

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Nick Matheson
57 MIN AGO
Reply to Peter Turner
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What about you?

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Mike Barclay
57 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
As if to prove your point I have to say that non of what you say is true - in the sense that it is such a simplistic critique that it cannot be held to represent any sort of reality.
And that of course proves the point of Timothy's better-than-usually argued article. EDITED

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Peter Turner
56 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
It seems a bit...excessive. Exaggerated, perhaps. And certainly one-sided. Still, it's your opinion, so valid.

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Nick Matheson
56 MIN AGO
Reply to Mike Barclay
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Saying much without saying anything is also a British right-winge phenomenon.
There is more substance & truth in my few words than there is in the entire article above.
It is just inconvenient truths that you are allergic to.

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Nick Matheson
51 MIN AGO
Reply to Peter Turner
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The funny part is that none of what I said is exaggerated and far more important than Harry and the contents of the entire article above.
These are real reasons to cause hurt to people, Harry ranting about his relationship with his bruv is not.
These are facts, historically water-tight, the Harry and Meghan thingy is pure hearsay, yet your mind is easier made up with the hearsay you prefer rather than the facts that you conveniently ignore. EDITED

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G Wilson
50 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
What you say is of course your version of the truth. I think differently and am right in my beliefs because they are mine and my truth is real whereas your truth is fictional and can be disregarded.
Mr G

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Nick Matheson
48 MIN AGO
Reply to G Wilson
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These are facts, historically water-tight, the Harry and Meghan thingy is pure hearsay, yet your mind is easier made up with the hearsay you prefer rather than the facts that you conveniently ignore thus proving my point that British right-whingers are the wokest of them all. EDITED

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John Thomas
44 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
'The destruction of truth is a British right-winge (sic) pastime.'
But that's an opinion, not a fact. And critical theory which 'revels in destroying the truth' is a Marxist creation and far more prevalent on the Left.
'This entire audience revels in calling the EU "Nazi". '
I for one have never called the EU 'Nazi'. It is undemocratic, inefficient and often corrupt, but not Nazi.
'It revels on claiming British ownership over foreign cultural buildings like the Parthenon and others.'
Britain, unlike Turkish invaders, has never claimed ownership of the Parthenon. But I presume you mean the Elgin marbles.
'It revels on lying and hypnotising the British public into oblivion.'
Who is this 'it'?
'It deserves everything it gets from the woke and more, because Britain invented the faux pas and nonsense universal reasons to justify the looting it engaged in.'
I'm so glad to learn that before the British came along, no other nation had ever committed a faux pas, even though the French invented the term.
"We didn't loot the Parthenon, we saved it".
It had been substantially destroyed after it was used as an ammo store and blown up long before we got there. So it had hardly been in safe hands.
"We did not loot the Benin Bronzes just took them as compensation for our invasion in Benin."
No, we took them following the massacre of British envoys. They were made by slaves, by the way.
"We do not hate Europeans or are racist, we just hate the EU, the Polish, the Albanians, the Syrians, the French and anyone who disagrees with us".
Thankyou for your important lesson in tolerance, understanding and reasoned argument. EDITED

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Peter Turner
43 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
If you say so. You are obviously completely satisfied that what you claim to be facts are entirely accurate and proportionate. I'm just saying others will have different views on those topics. BTW, claiming your version of events is wholly accurate and the only acceptable truth is very much what Nick Timothy was getting at in his article.

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Nick Matheson
38 MIN AGO
Reply to John Thomas
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I for one, you for two, but everyone together does.
The EU is a lot more democratic than Britain. In the EU, a simple majority will not do for anything, not when it involves foreign nations. In The EU you need full consensus from all constituent parts or extended majorities.
In the UK, the English control Scotland, N. Ireland and Wales quite unlike the EU with its own members.
Britain is responsible for the faux pas, for popularising it, standardising it and it becoming a springboard from where the woke get their notes.
According to Elgin's own entourage, he caused more havoc and damage than Venetian artillery and the Marbles in Greece are in a far superior condition than the Marbles in London.
Evidence:
"The 14 slabs that Elgin did not remove revealed a surprising array of original details, such as the original chisel marks and the veins on the horses' bellies. Similar features in the British Museum collection have been scraped and scrubbed with chisels to make the marbles look white.[95][96]"
"Edward Daniel Clarke witnessed the removal of the metopes and called the action a "spoliation", writing that "thus the form of the temple has sustained a greater injury than it had already experienced from the Venetian artillery," and that "neither was there a workman employed in the undertaking ... who did not express his concern that such havoc should be deemed necessary, after moulds and casts had been already made of all the sculpture which it was designed to remove."[55] When Sir Francis Ronalds visited Athens and Giovanni Battista Lusieri in 1820, he wrote that "If Lord Elgin had possessed real taste in lieu of a covetous spirit he would have done just the reverse of what he has, he would have removed the rubbish and left the antiquities."
-wiki EDITED

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Nick Matheson
32 MIN AGO
Reply to John Thomas - view message
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How dare they Benin people revolt against their British Masters? Britain should take all their properties root & stem.

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#15262266
Patrickov wrote:Sorry noemon, but this part bolded by me is exactly the Pandora's box I fear most.
Greece is a stable and free country but this cannot be said for many if not most of those having "looted stuff" exhibiting in the British Museum.

For example, I certainly won't trust any Islamic countries (Egypt included, sadly) possessing any of them.


The British Museum can make copies and send all the ill-gotten items back.

Why do you fear this? I'm genuinely curious.

The British Museum exhibits only 1% of its collection. The rest it uses to barter and make money from.
#15262268
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Geoffrey MCKEOWN
23 HRS AGO
Excellent article.
Also there are dangers of loan of World Treasures in this case owned and curated in museums in UK, especially to a country which not only contests UK ownership but claims ownership itself.
They are too great to seriously contemplate lending.
Possession is nine tenths of the rule and it is perhaps better to be the target of some resentment by keeping possession than to feel resentful oneself after losing it.
Go Woke Go Broke, (phrase borrowed from another DT reader), in this case culturally broke, has never been more apt. EDITED

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Nick Matheson
23 HRS AGO
Reply to Geoffrey MCKEOWN
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Why do you need to claim ownership over Greek culture & buildings to feel whole instead of broke?
Are you not comfortable in your own British skin?
This is an embarrassing article that erroneously claims that "Greeks no longer exist". If this was said about the Jews, Daniel would have lost his job and this article already.
You blame the woke for undermining Britishness but very happy to undermine the Greekness of others.
It's pathetic. EDITED

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Geoffrey MCKEOWN
23 HRS AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
No offence intended.
I stand by my comment and right to make them and without the other comments you would seemingly put in my mouth.

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Nick Matheson
22 HRS AGO
Reply to Geoffrey MCKEOWN
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What did "I put in your mouth" that you object to?

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Geoffrey MCKEOWN
21 HRS AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
I do not "claim" ownership but "own" along with every other Briton the artifacts under discussion and not even my elected representatives have the right to give them away, sell them, lend them, exchange them, cede possession of them or otherwise endanger them but do have a duty to diligently curate them.

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Nick Matheson
21 HRS AGO
Reply to Geoffrey MCKEOWN - view message
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You do not own the Parthenon and that is claiming ownership.
It is ridiculous to claim British ownership over Greek national property. EDITED

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#15262277
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Douglas Maxwell
30 MIN AGO
When society ends up being lectured to by the village idiot and his utterances are taken to be credible and need to be accommodated, then there is obviously something very badly wrong.
It's time to go back to laughing at fools and the nonsense they spout, not hanging on their every word.

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Nick Matheson
22 MIN AGO
Reply to Douglas Maxwell
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The village idiot calling the EU "Nazi" & "fascist" not only got away with it but took an entire nation under its wing along with 2 more unwilling nations like N. Ireland and Scotland against their democratic and sovereign wishes.
Daniel Hannan for example created a career by calling the EU parliament "Nazis" and posting it on youtube, he was awarded with a life peerage, a column in the Telegraph and leadership of the ERG. EDITED

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Richard Farrow
18 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Yawn yawn - go back to the deluded Guardian why don't you where you can spout your truth

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Nick Matheson
17 MIN AGO
Reply to Richard Farrow
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Nothing to say, innit...

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Richard Farrow
17 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
Clearly you are very intelligent - in your world

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Nick Matheson
16 MIN AGO
Reply to Richard Farrow
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Oh why thank you.

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Dave Evans
11 MIN AGO
Reply to Nick Matheson
The EU is non-democratic by design. For fear of having nazis elected. Like last time. That's what's wrong with the EU.

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Nick Matheson
7 MIN AGO
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The EU operates under consensus or extended majority. It is thus several orders more democratic than Britain where a mere English majority rules over Scotland and N. Ireland against their democratic and sovereign wishes


The most-watched British political video of all time in youtube is Daniel Hannan calling the EU Parliament "nazis".

This tells you everything you need to now about this country, its people and the alternative truths that occupy their thoughts.

It also tells you that nuance, reason and honour have long departed these shores and that "wokism" is in fact a creation of British right-whingers.
#15262310
noemon wrote:The British Museum can make copies and send all the ill-gotten items back.


And then have them destroyed by rogue regimes like the Taliban, or defaced by irrespectful regimes like the Saudis? Hell no.

noemon wrote:The British Museum exhibits only 1% of its collection. The rest it uses to barter and make money from.


To be fair the museum is free to enter as far as I remember, so I am curious on how much money it makes.
#15262384
Patrickov wrote:And then have them destroyed by rogue regimes like the Taliban, or defaced by irrespectful regimes like the Saudis? Hell no.


I don't care what they do with their stuff just like I do not want anyone to care about what I do with my stuff.

If the Greeks want to pile up the Marbles, set them on fire while dancing around, it's their issue.

Not that I would advocate it but just to illustrate my point.

If an items is yours, one can do whatever you like with it and that is the issue here: ownership.

Why is Britain claiming to the present day to own the structural walls of the Parthenon? It is infuriating because it is so insulting.

People like David Abulafia, Daniel Hannan, and a lot more nationalists in the comments fall back to the argument: "We are better Greeks than Greeks" because that is where the British position naturally defaults on by claiming ownership over someone else's culture. For the Arab Abulafia, more reasons may come into play but that's another story.

It is the most disgusting form of cultural ethnic-cleansing.
#15262413
@noemon

My take is, unfortunately, not as benevolent as yours.

Greece is culturally more advanced and its politics is at least as open and stable as the United Kingdom, so it's earned enough credit to demand a return of what belongs to it. But I look at the whole matter in a more case-by-case basis, and at least preserving something is definitely more preferable than leaving them in the wrong hands.

I am definitely not into "self-determination" -- entities have to prove their worth. I am with Greece on this one simply because Greece has proven themselves.
#15263286
Telegraph wrote:The case for keeping the Elgin Marbles
The call for the restitution of museum artefacts on the grounds of ‘colonial guilt’ is based on a misreading of history


That those who do an injustice should rectify it, is moral common sense. No one disputes that Germany’s post-1945 government should have restored stolen property to its owners or compensated them for its loss. In those circumstances, the identities of the Jewish wronged and the Nazi wrongdoers and the relationship between original victims and surviving family members were clear. The harm done was definite and quantifiable. Restitution and compensation made sense.

The passage of time, however, muddies the waters. As the philosopher Onora O’Neill has written:

“...claims to compensation have to show that continuing loss or harm resulted from past injury. This is all too often impossible where harms have been caused by ancient or distant wrongs. Is everybody who descends (in part) from those who were once enslaved or colonised still being harmed by those now ancient and distant misdeeds? Can we offer a clear enough account of the causation of current harms to tell where compensation is owed? Can we show who ought to do the compensating?”

The riotous jungle of history overgrows and obscures the causal pathways. Moreover, practices we now regard as abhorrent were once widely accepted. And some abhorrent things our ancestors did, they repented of long ago.

Take slavery, for example. From ancient times, peoples on every continent practised it. Long before Europeans became involved in the 1440s, Africans had been selling black slaves to Roman and Arab traders. While the British were importing slaves into the Americas in the 1700s, the indigenous Comanche were running a slave economy in the south-west of North America. In the West Indies and the American South, freed slaves kept slaves of their own. British slave-trading and slavery from about 1650 was nothing out of the ordinary.

What was extraordinary was that the British were among the first peoples in the world to repudiate the slave trade and slavery within their own territories in 1807 and 1833, respectively, and the leading people to devote themselves to the global suppression of slavery for the following century and a half.

These facts pose a question of fairness to Hilary Beckles’s claim in Britain’s Black Debt (2013) that Britons today owe reparations for their forebears’ slaving activities. Why pick on the British? What about the descendants of the African chiefs who sold other Africans to the slave-traders, as well as the descendants of the Arab slave-traders who sold the slaves to the Europeans on the coast? They all profited, too. And if we are going to have reparations for slavery, the British themselves should seek compensation from the descendants of the Barbary corsairs, who raided Cornwall in the 1600s and carted off whole villages into slavery on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa.

Then there’s the problem of establishing that those descended from slaves are worse off than they would have been had they remained in Africa. Evidence suggests that some descendants of slaves now prosper rather more than some descendants of slave-traders. According to World Bank data, in 2020 life expectancy in post-slavery Barbados was 24 years higher than in post-slave-­trading Nigeria, and GNI per capita in international dollars, 482 per cent higher.

So, when the Archbishop of Canterbury announced recently that the Church of England will devote the interest of £100 million “to address our shameful past” in the wake of a report revealing a church fund’s profits from investment in the slave trade, a lot of explaining is needed. After all, the Church addressed its shameful past and repudiated slavery 200 years ago: evangelical Anglicans were prom­inent in the abolition movement from the 1780s, Anglican bishops voted en bloc for abolition in 1807, and Anglican missionaries there­after spent their lives lobbying for the imperial suppression of ­slavery worldwide.

However, all the explanation we’re given are the report’s bald statements that “the past is still ­present”, since “the transatlantic slave economy played a significant role in shaping the economy, society and Church we have today”, contributing to ongoing “racial and class divisions”. Every one of these unargued assertions is doubtful.

Do the Parthenon Marbles represent the 'essence of Greekness'?

While some still cleave to Eric Williams’s 1944 Marxist thesis that profits from the slave trade made “an enormous contribution” to Britain’s industrial development, David Brion Davis, the distinguished historian of slavery and abolition, confidently declared in 2010 that it has been “wholly discredited by other scholars”.

Further, there is no direct causal line between the ugly racism that justified 18th-century slavery and the present day, not least because the highly popular abolition movement and its humanitarian successors were propelled by the Christian conviction that members of all races are equal in the sight of God. Consequently, according to another historian, John Stauffer:

“...almost every United States black who travelled in the British Isles acknowledged the comparative dearth of racism there. [The famous black abolitionist] Frederick Doug­lass noted after arriving in England in 1845: “I saw in every man a recognition of my manhood, and an absence, a perfect absence, of everything like that disgusting hate with which we are pursued in [the U S].”

The Church of England is absolutely right to set about correcting present unjust ethnic disparities and racist prejudice. But it should do so without following the Zeitgeist in erasing everything that has happened since 1807. Racial injustice in the Church can’t be attributed to British colonial endeavour, since throughout the second half of its life the British Empire was committed to anti-slavery on the principle of a Christian racial egalitarianism.

Nevertheless, the simple equation of British imperial power with white-supremacist oppression comprises the backdrop to Dan Hicks’s case for the restitution of the “Benin Bronzes” in The Brutish Museums (2020). As Hicks tells it, the mainly brass plaques and sculptures were looted by the British from the city of Benin in 1897, when they carried out a long-planned invasion, whose commercial motive – greed for timber – was dressed up in the humanitarian pretext of suppressing the practice of human sacrifice.

In fact – as I demonstrate in Colonialism: A Moral Reckoning – a scrupulous reading of the data prefers an alternative narrative. Benin did practise slave-trading and human sacrifice, horrifying British progressives of their day. In addition, both European and African traders were pressing the British to open up Benin to free trade. Yet even this had a humanitarian dimension, since the promotion of “legitimate” commerce was widely viewed as a substitute for the slave trade.

Still, London remained reluctant to intervene. It was only when an unarmed diplomatic mission was slaughtered in January 1897 that the imperial government felt obliged to authorise a punitive expedition.

So, when they went to war in February 1897, the British intended primarily to retaliate for the mass­acre and thereby deter any repetition. The enabling of free trade and the ending of the practices of slavery and human sacrifice were secondary intentions. But they were not insincere. After Benin was occupied, any slave who arrived back in the deserted city before his master was emancipated and slave-trading was outlawed.

As for the Bronzes, these were removed as “spoils of war”. But this wasn’t “looting” in the sense of the unauthorised seizure of items for private purposes. That was prohibited by British military law. Instead, the British commander reserved all the major items as government property. Once removed to London, most were auctioned by the Admiralty, probably to defray the expedition’s costs, including pensions for the disabled and bereaved. Under international law at the time, this was legal.

So, if there are good reasons for British institutions to return the Bronzes to Benin, colonial guilt is not among them. For among British motives were the emancipation of slaves and the ending of human sacrifice, and the Bronzes themselves were cast from a form of currency used to trade slaves.

That’s why the New York-based Restitution Study Group is urging that the Bronzes be retained by European and US museums, so that, rather than rewarding the Beninese descendants of slave-traders, the far-flung descendants of the slaves they traded should benefit from ready access to part of their history.

Colonial guilt also provides the backdrop for the case for the restitution of the famous Elgin Marbles. Thus, in Who Owns History? (2019), Geoffrey Robertson depicts the British Empire in general as a series of cultural despoliations and war crimes. While he admits that “this is not a history book (as I can prove by confessing to having checked some of its facts on Wikipedia)”, his historical caricature still sets the scene for his argument.

Namely, from 1801, Lord Elgin unlawfully looted sculptures from the Parthenon, falsely claiming he was rescuing them from destruction. Effectively, this has robbed the Greek people of “the keys to its history” or what has been called “the essence of Greekness”. Moreover, only when the looted sculptures are reunited with their siblings in Athens can the ensemble reveal its authentic meaning.

The case for retention is this. The Acropolis, on which the Parthenon stands, had been used by the Ottomans as a strategic military base for centuries. In 1687, under siege by the Venetians, a gunpowder store in the Parthenon exploded, destroying part of the building. The Ottoman authorities cared so little that the antiquarian debris was still litt­er­ing the ground more than a cent­ury later when Elgin’s agents arr­ived on the scene. What’s more, the latter found Ottoman soldiers damaging the remaining sculptures as they prised out the lead from the clamps holding the marble blocks together, in order to make bullets. Elgin had secured from the highest official in Constantinople authorisation to take away “any pieces of stone with old inscriptions, and figures”.

Now aware of the vulnerability of the sculptures, he persuaded the city governor, in the presence of an official from the sultan’s court, that this open-ended permission extended to those, too. The work of removing the Marbles then proceeded in full public view over two-and-a-half years from 1801. The last shipment to London left nine years later. Had the authorities objected, they could easily have stopped it. But they didn’t.

Nonetheless, what of the argument that, since they represent “the essence of Greekness”, the Marbles should now be returned to Greece? That essence is supposed to be democracy, and yet in the “democracy” that Periclean Athens supported when the Parthenon was built, 30,000 citizens elected representatives to the legislative assembly, which ruled over 300,000 unenfranchised women and slaves. And whereas contemporary Greeks may project onto the Parthenon’s sculptures an embodiment of their own ideals, their original meaning to ancient Athenians was imperial triumph and to ancient Spartans and Corinthians, imperial oppression. The Marbles have no single, authentic meaning. They meant contrary things to ancient Greek peoples. They mean something different to contemporary Greeks. And they mean something different again to international visitors to the British Museum, where their juxtaposition to art from all over the world provokes fresh insight into human cultures.

Meanwhile, if the curators of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens want to display what the original Parthenon looked like, with all its parts together in a glorious whole, modern technology stands ready to project that. Michelle Donelan, the Culture Secretary, is right: the Elgin Marbles should stay where they are.

In cases analogous to that of the Nazi looting of Jewish property, ­restitution or compensation makes sense. But given the complicating passage of time, centuries-old historic injustices seldom fit that mould and can’t sensibly be rectified. What can be rectified, however, are racial injustices today. Those should be our focus, not the sins of distant ancestors, whose effects have been widely diffused and attenuated by subsequent causes, including repentance and sustained penance.

And when considering calls for the restitution of objects brought to Britain during the imperial period, we shouldn’t be prejudiced by a general sense of colonial guilt, since the British Empire did good as well as evil. Not all that was taken was looted. Nor was all of it innocent.

Nigel Biggar is Regius Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology at the ­University of Oxford and author of Colonialism: A Moral Reckoning (William Collins, £25), out on Thurs. To pre-order your copy for £19.99, call 0844 871 1514 or visit Telegraph Books


Censored reply:

Nick Matheson wrote:The claim that the greatest symbol of Greek culture is owned by Britain and the British Museum causes immense harm to the cultural agency of an entire nation. The fact that this claim is pursued with vigor by British authorities, nationalists and faux moral academics demonstrates the air of intentional malevolence.
Britain rejects not just the Greek ownership of the Parthenon Marbles, but also Greek ownership of Greekness itself. And hence why author after author consistently denies that Greeks are ethnically continuous with their forefathers. And that despite the fact that all fields of Genetics, History and Ethnicity confirm that Greeks along with Jews, Armenians, Japanese and Chinese are the most ethnically continuous people alive.
This malevolent British claim is identical to the antisemitic replacement theory. That "Jews are not proper Judeans" and that "Christians represent the New Israel".
It is a malevolent act that has gone out of fashion for several decades, certainly on the political level in the west as well as in the Academic & layman level. Yet, the Hellenophobic replacement theory is alive and not just on a layman level but also on the Academic and even worse on the Political levels as such claims are spoken by Ministers and Officers of the UK.
Lastly you wrote that in the case the Benin bronzes, they were not technically "looted" because they were not used for private purposes while at the same time Elgin looted the Parthenon for his own private satisfaction as he kept them at his private villa for about an entire decade and sold them to the BM only when he went bankrupt after his rich wife divorced him.

*Daniel Hannan, 2 weeks ago, this one here who dog whistles that the passage of time has "diluted the Greek ownership of Greek culture". Gibbon and so many classicists & laymen over the course of 2-3 centuries.
It's not healthy and it is quite damning for British culture itself.



Regius Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology Oxford University wrote:"Nonetheless, what of the argument that, since they represent “the essence of Greekness”, the Marbles should now be returned to Greece? That essence is supposed to be democracy, and yet in the “democracy” that Periclean Athens supported when the Parthenon was built, 30,000 citizens elected representatives to the legislative assembly, which ruled over 300,000 unenfranchised women and slaves."


What kind of creature(let alone an Prof of Moral Theology in Oxford) asserts what the essence of the Greek ethnos is?

And moreover what kind of woke creature rejects Greek Democracy on the basis of slavery?

I'm still curious though to understand which part of history has been misread.
The part where Elgin used the structural walls of the Parthenon to decorate his private villa or the part when he sold them as private property? The part when he hacked them off the Parthenon with all his workers, retinue and sculptors protesting openly against his "spoilation"?

Or the part when he lost them at sea?
Or is it the part when British classicists of the racist persuasion figured themselves more Hellenic than the Greeks themselves and started spreading rumours that the "Anglo-Saxons" rediscovered the Classics in their grandmama's chest of drawers.
Since when did Anglo-Saxons, Francs and Goths had Greek classical literature or culture to "rediscover"?

The essence of Greekness is not "democracy", nor slavery, nor fascism, autocracy, republicanism or despotism, but the ownership over its own culture. Greeks have established thousands of polities under every system imaginable. The essence of Greekness is the very thing that you have no qualms denying with zero argument in 2 different ways. Not only by claiming ownership over Greek culture for Britain but also by trying to define 'Greekness' only to reject it as invalid.

It is beyond the pale.

It is even more beyond the pale when British Officers have determined many decades ago that the Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Greece as soon as it is safe to do so after the [WW2] war ends.
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