Clooney’s Monuments Men Want Parthenon Marbles Back In Greece



It's too late for The Monuments Men to save the Parthenon Marbles
It’s too late for The Monuments Men to save the Parthenon Marbles

Actor-director-activist George Clooney, who has taken on worldwide causes such as the Sudan tragedy, now has unwittingly stepped into an age-old fight between Greece and England over the stolen Parthenon Marbles being housed in the British Museum.

He said they should likely be returned to Greece, which six years ago opened a new Acropolis Museum to house the treasures stolen almost 200 years ago by a British diplomat, Lord Elgin.

The friezes had been called The Elgin Marbles before the late actress and Greek Culture Minister Melina Mercouri, who was at the head of the fight for their return, called them The Parthenon Marbles, joining others in the renaming call.

And he’s being backed by his co-stars in the WWII movie The Monuments Men, about a group led by American and British art experts behind enemy lines trying to save some of the world’s most valuable heritage art goods from destruction by the Nazis.

At a press conference in London Fen. 11, Clooney called for “an open discussion” on the fate of the ancient friezes. Both the Vatican and the J. Paul Getty Museum had sent parts back, Clooney said, raising the question “of whether or not one piece of art should be, as best as possible, put back together.”

“There are certain pieces that you look at and think, that actually is probably the right thing to do,” Clooney said, the Associated Press reported.

Greek Culture Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos thanked Clooney for his support, calling him “an active citizen and creative artist who adamantly defends what is just and good.”

The British Museum, which houses the marbles, says they “are a part of the world’s shared heritage and transcend political boundaries” and are best displayed in London, where the public can view them for free.

Clooney, who directed and stars in The Monuments Men, said he didn’t mean to rekindle the ancient fight when he answered a question from a Greek journalist about the marbles at the Berlin Film Festival last week. And he said he’d been told that, as an American, he couldn’t understand the issues.

“That can’t always be the British default setting,” co-star Matt Damon told British reporters, half-joking. “That’s not actually an argument, to say ‘Well you’re American.’”

Bill Murray, another star of the movie, had a firmer opinion on the ancient artwork. “It’s had a very nice stay here, certainly,” Murray said. “But London’s gotten crowded. There’s plenty of room back there in Greece.”

 


8 COMMENTS

  1. Please spare us merchandising the Uber-Liberal Leftist George Clooney’s films. He is strictly about selling his latest film which is at best mediocre. The Parthenon is just one example, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Caryatid from Erechtheion and so many others removed for good reasons but now need to be returned home where they belong.

  2. Why do you think the Parthenon looks like it was exploded, because that is exactly what happened. The Ottomans used it as an armory to store weapons and explosives. Along came the Venetians and during Siege of Athens in 1687 a shell landed in the Parthenon and the rest was history, smoke, a lot of marble dust and ruble. Greece remained under Ottoman rule and between 1801 to 1812 Lord Elgin removed what he could of what was left of the Parthenon Marbles and a few other relics and took them to England where they remain to this day. I believe he did it partly for self-gratification and partly to save what he believed to be priceless works of art from the Ottoman Turks, as they did not respect the image of man and may have destroyed the marbles as target practice for their infantry. Certainly centuries later air pollution would have done further damage. What you see on the temple today is part original and the rest copies. As a side not there is a tale when the wind blows through the Erechtheion in the right direction one can hear the Caryatids crying for their lost sister.

  3. The Parthanon will not survive another two thousand years if we don’t take more measures to protect it.

    In my opinion the best measure would be to encase the Parathon in earthquake resistant glass (possibly even the entire acropolis). This solution would not only keep it visible but would protect it from the elements. When we one day get the marbles back we should remount them directly onto the parthenon (where they belong rather than a museum)

  4. The Parthanon will not survive another two thousand years if we don’t take more measures to protect it.

    In my opinion the best measure would be to encase the Parathon in earthquake resistant glass (possibly even the entire acropolis). This solution would not only keep it visible but would protect it from the elements. When we one day get the marbles back we should remount them directly onto the parthenon (where they belong rather than a museum)

  5. The Parthenon its out buildings, structures and temples have never looked better in recent history. Thanks to multinational effort and private investment it gleams and although I can no longer walk along the sacred walls and steps it gives me a thrill to see it look so grand for our many visitors. Your suggestion is one of many being considered to shield it from pollution, vibration and the elements. Whenever I walk in its shadow I look up hoping someday in my lifetime the marbles are returned and our beautiful temple mount will remain long after we are gone to dust. In the meantime let the rest of the world marvel at our talent and genius in their London and Paris museums, hopefully giving them reason to visit Greece to see the best of the rest.

  6. When I hear Greeks condoning what that vandal Elgin done I know they are traitors.You call Clooney a lefty.What do I care whether he is left or right.Why politicize art? Elgin did not loot them to save them.He wanted to decorate his gardens.and in the process he smashed them and chipped them and cracked them badly.He then damped them in the sea when his ship sunk and many lost.Later were scrubbed with steel brushes to make them whiter.I am grateful to Clooney or any one who campaigns for their return.You seem to be an obsessive nazi that your fanaticism interferes with the wish of decent Greeks for the repatriation of what belongs to Greeks and you allow your political fanaticism to condone the theft of our national inheritance.God help us if nazis like you ever gain power in Greece.

  7. Your train of thought is illogical. You asked a simple question, I answered it and somehow by responding to you I became an “obsessive Nazi”. Explain how am I a Nazi or are you attempting unsuccessfully to bait me into some stupid argument of no purpose whatsoever? Ali, you are not Greek, you obviously do not know our history and you are ignorant.

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