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!

Lord Byron, "Childe Harold"

"The request for the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles is not made by the Greek government in the name of the Greek nation or of Greek history. It is made in the name of the cultural heritage of the world and with the voice of the mutilated monument itself, that cries out for its marbles to be returned."
Evangelos Venizelos, former Greek Minister of Culture

Frieze detail

Far away from their native land, the Parthenon Marbles have been situated at the British Museum for over 150 years. That certainly means that there are continuous negotiations between the Greek government, asking for their return, and the British government who, together with the Trustees of the British Museum, have refused to do this.

In the pages below you can read about the history of the Parthenon Marbles as well as the points of view of the Greek government, the British government, the British political parties and the British Museum itself. Finally we explain our position and ask yours too. All it takes is a minute or two to send us an email. We hope that you enjoy reading our pages and learn a lot, as we did.

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These pages were originally produced by teenagers in an English class in Rethymno, Crete. They are now maintained by their former teacher, Ian Swindale. Site officially launched: 9 February 1997.

Photos of the Parthenon Marbles by Ian Swindale. Design by Vangelis Papiomytoglou. Copyright © Ian Swindale, 1997-2012.

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