Greece’s Education Ministry will withdraw an art history school book that was criticized for misrepresenting the history of the Parthenon Marbles housed in the British Museum.
The textbook, published in 2003, says that the Parthenon treasures, almost half of the 160-meter-long frieze on the Parthenon, were “transported” to Britain without any explanation on how that happened.
Education Minister Andreas Loverdos said the book will no longer be used in schools next year and sent instructions to schools nationwide on how teachers should present the subject of the Parthenon Marbles correctly.
The Parthenon sculptures were removed from Acropolis in 1801 by Scottish nobleman Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, Great Britain’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Bruce later sold them to the British government and the phrase “Elgin Marbles” has been coined throughout the years. The sculptures are exhibited in the British Museum since.
The British Museum refuses to return the priceless sculptures to Greece on the grounds they were acquired by Elgin through a legitimate contract with the Ottoman Empire that was ruling Greece at the time.
For the past 35 years, Greek governments are on an ongoing campaign to return the Parthenon sculptures to their natural “home” and reunite with the rest of the Parthenon Marbles that are now exhibited at the Acropolis Museum.
Controversy over the book arose following a recent complaint by SYRIZA MP Tasos Kourakis. “It is unthinkable that students are being taught that the Parthenon Marbles were ‘transported’. They were violently extracted from the monument,” Kourakis said.