More than 200 years since the Earl of Elgin ripped treasured artefacts from the Parthenon, heavily damaging them in the process, a Scottish decision has come to support that the Marbles should be returned to Greece.
The National Museums of Scotland (NMS) reversed its policy opposed to the repatriation of items from its 12-million strong collection.
The National Scot revealed that the NMS decision was taken after extensive consultation concerning the idea of sending back items to countries which wanted them.
The trustees have also cleared this reversal of policy.
“NMS’s collections reflect its diverse history and multidisciplinary nature, spanning the arts, humanities, natural and social sciences. Each of the five collections departments contains some objects that originate from outside of the United Kingdom. In exceptional circumstances, NMS will consider a request made by claimants located outside the UK to transfer a specific object or group of objects where the request meets certain criteria,” stated the NMS.
Apart from the NMS’s reversal of repatriation policy, Brexit also means that there may be additional pressure forcing the repatriation of items originating in EU countries.
The Marbles were acquired by the British Government in July 1816. Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, was paid 35,000 pounds (the equivalent of 3.5 million pounds adjusted for inflation).
Elgin had paid more than 70,000 pounds to bring the Marbles to Britain and sold them to a grateful government which cleared him of any wrongdoing during their removal.