Why Is the British Museum Still Fighting to Keep the Parthenon’s Marble Sculptures?
Removed from Greece More Than 200 Years Ago, They Now Fuel a Post-Brexit Fight Over Who Is Civilized and Who Is a Barbarian
Two-and-a-half millennia ago, Athenian artist Phidias depicted the Greek myth of the Centauromachy in his sculptures for Athens’ Parthenon. Athens, the wealthy and powerful democratic nation-state, was of course analogous in the story to the civilized Lapiths; any foes the city faced resembled the barbaric Centaurs, who, as the tale goes, attempted to rape the bride at a Lapith wedding feast, launching a battle between the two peoples.
The Parthenon still stands all these centuries later, but Phidias’ work, which once adorned the building, is scattered between the Athens’ Acropolis Museum …