Turkey helps Greece within the demand for the Elgin Marbles: there was no permission from the sultan for the plunder | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.


Turkey has determined to fire up the controversy over the Parthenon marbles. Zeynep Boz, senior official and skilled of the Ministry of Culture on the head of the anti-smuggling divisionhas publicly said that there is no such thing as a doc from the Ottoman Empire that will authorize Thomas Bruce – higher generally known as Lord Elgin – to take the Acropolis friezes later acquired by the British Museum.

Lorde Elgin was a British diplomat and “minister plenipotentiary” stationed within the early nineteenth century in Athens, when Greece was beneath the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Between 1801 and 1812, dozens of staff beneath his command half of the sculptures attributed to Phidias have been torn off from the Acropolis and dated to the fifth century BC. Lord Byron himself described what occurred in his time as an act of “vandalism and plunder.”

Lord Elgin claimed to have had permission from the Ottoman authorities and managed to constitution the sculptures to Malta, which was then a British protectorate. His intention was to create a personal museum within the United Kingdom to show his treasures from the East, however he went bankrupt and needed to promote the sculptures.

Napoleon got here to bid for them, however Elgin determined to promote the items to the British Museum for 35,000 kilos on the time. Parliament opened an investigation into the legality of the operation in 1816 and accepted the alleged proof offered by Lord Elgin, who claimed to have a phrase (official edict) signed by the sultan and with the authorization of the navy commanders and the Governor of Athens.

Zeynep Boz, the senior Turkish authorities official specialised in cultural smuggling, has assured in statements to the ERT community and the Associated Press company that It doesn’t exist within the historic archives mentioned phrase of the sultn nor any doc that proves that the Parthenon marbles have been exported legally.

“Historians have been delving for years into the archives and They have not found any evidence“mentioned Boz, who determined to intervene after taking part in a gathering of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Return of Cultural Properties, through which a consultant of the United Kingdom Government mentioned that Lord Elgin had the permission of the Ottoman authorities.

“We are facing a very serious assertion by a representative of the Turkish Government, alleging that no document could be found that certifies that the marbles were extracted legally,” declared Elena Korka, director of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture. from Greece. “Possibly they have not found this document because it never existed”.

Korka assured that the one paperwork which have been discovered in regards to the items exported by Lord Elgin from the port of Piraeus correspond to minor antiquities and ceramics. The absence of references to the sculptures of the Parthenon has, in his opinion, a simple clarification: “Elgin never had a permit to remove anything from the Acropolis.”

“The central argument of the British Museum has always been that the pieces were acquired legally“, declares a The Guardian Professor Irene Stamatoudi, who advises the Greek Government. “The fact of a lack of evidence in the country that has the historical archives may be key in this matter.”

The Greek Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni has reiterated that the return of the so-called “Elgin marbles” is “a national objective.” The thorny subject motivated the latest “disagreement” between the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the prime minister Rishi Sunakwho determined to not obtain it in Downing Street for referring to the controversy within the British media.

The president of the British Museum, George Osborne, opened talks with the Greek authorities within the final two years to discover a compromise formulation, however Sunak has reiterated that the items won’t depart the United Kingdom. “We understand and respect the emotions raised by this matter,” a spokesperson for the British Museum said briefly after Turkey's latest intervention within the controversy.