Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles?

On June 19th and 20th an international conference on “The Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles” will be held in London.  The Global London Colloquy will discuss the pertinent issues surrounding The British Museum’s claim on the Parthenon Marbles and will address the growing pressure for this “Universal Museum” to repatriate the antiquities to Greece. 
U.S. Politics Today reports that Dr. Tom Flynn will be speaking at the conference and will elaborate on the concept of the “Universal Museum,” discussing its controversial status with regard to the repatriation of objects and the function of the “encyclopedic collections” in our progressively globalized world.
The new Acropolis Museum in Athens, which opened in 2009, is arguably the Parthenon Marbles’ rightful home.  It is also argued the return of the Marbles will have a huge impact on morale among the Greek people.  The repatriation of the Marbles could be just the sort of “cultural gesture” that will inspire the much-needed optimism in light of Greece’s current economic troubles.  At the Global London Colloquy Dr. Flynn will contend that the reunification of the Marbles by the British Museum will pave the way towards a new era in global museum co-operation and cultural diplomacy.
This current interest in the Parthenon Marbles leads to several considerations.  What is the function of the Universal Museum? Is the establishment of more Universal Museums in developing nations a realistic objective? And, importantly, how do current international relationships and perceptions of economic stability affect the way we treat antiquities? How do social affairs—such as the upcoming 2012 Olympics, which will be held in London—factor in?
Originally posted by Sally Johnson on CulturalSecurity.net.
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