By the Artist — Dimitris Antonopoulos

In these works I aim to honour the call to return these important cultural artefacts, to help create a deeper connection for both Hellenes and Philhellenes to the importance of First Nations identity and cultures, and create an awareness of them in our hearts and in our homes.

About The Parthenon Marbles

The Parthenon Marbles, are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures that were removed from the Parthenon in Athens by the 7th Earl of Elgin, Thomas Bruce, between 1801 and 1812. The sculptures were taken to the British Museum in London, where they have been on display since 1817.

The Parthenon Marbles are widely considered to be amongst the finest surviving examples of ancient Greek art. They depict a variety of scenes, including the gods of Greek mythology, scenes from the life of the Greek gods and goddesses, and scenes from the life of everyday Athenians. The sculptures were originally part of the Parthenon, an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, the patron goddess of Athens.



Photographs of the Parthenon Marbles residing in the British Museum by Bill Zules

I was first inspired by the cry for the return of the Parthenon Marbles on a walk through Athens in the Greek winter of 2019.

A lone statue of Melina Mercouri, standing strong in a small Athenian park on Vasilisis Amalias Avenue moved me to learn more about her as a person, a leader and a powerful Hellenic voice for the repatriation of these priceless cultural artefacts.

A movement she began and still continues many decades later.

The Parthenon was built in the 5th century BCE and is an iconic symbol of the city of Athens. The Parthenon Marbles were removed from the Parthenon by Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, between 1801 and 1812. He was given permission to take the sculptures by the Ottoman Empire, which controlled Athens at the time.

Elgin intended to sell the marbles to the British Museum; however, he was unable to do so as the Museum refused to pay the asking price. Elgin instead sold them to the British Government for a much lower price, who then donated them to the Museum.

The removal of the Parthenon Marbles from their original location has been controversial ever since. Many people see the removal of the sculptures as an act of cultural imperialism, as Elgin was taking them from their homeland and placing them in a foreign museum. In recent years, there has been increased pressure on the British Museum to return the Marbles to Athens.

Learn more about the Parthenon Marbles

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© Dimitri Antonopoulos