This was a press release that I sent out on behalf of the International Organising Comittee – Australia – For the restitution Of The Parthenon Marbles.
11 November , 2009
The issue of the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles continues to be the world’s most celebrated cultural property dispute. Since Lord Elgin took them their history has been the subject of both neglect and controversy. Now in the British Museum they’ve been rendered mere artefacts in a distinctly British construction of world history and their place in it.
Removing great works from their cultural context and displaying them in gloomy spaces is a distinctly 19th century approach to knowledge. It is particularly sad when these brilliant works are acknowledged globally as expressions of the very heart of Greek culture. The real tragedy of their exile in a foreign setting is in denying the world an opportunity to see them in the very place that gave them ‘life’.
In Athens the new Acropolis Museum has been built to display theses irreplaceable masterpieces, close to their original setting. Here, aligned as they were on the Parthenon, it will be possible to view these unique Hellenic Sculptures in a completely holistic context.
The real history of the Parthenon Marbles is an extraordinary story, far more interesting than their sombre display in the British Museum can possibly suggest.
On Sunday 15 November, Emanuel J Comino OAM JP Founder and Chairman of the International Organising Committee – Australia – For The Restitution Of The Parthenon Marbles, is presenting an address on the fascinating history of these priceless expressions of Hellenism.
Founder of the first organised committee to campaign for the Parthenon marbles return, his contribution to the campaign has been unwavering since the Committee’s foundation in 1981. In 1983, Melina Mercouri asked the Committee to provide all the support it could to the newly formed British Committee. In 1997 similar support was given to the new American Committee and in 2000 the New Zealand Committee.
Emanuel speaks to a wide range of International conferences and seminars in places as far a field as Athens, New York, New Zealand and the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Global interest in restitution of the Parthenon Marbles is now benefiting from a growth in the number of organisations campaigning for their return including Facebook support groups.
The International Organising Committee-Australia-For The Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles (EST. 1981) in conjunction with AHEPA and The Greek Australian Professional Association, invite you to attend at AHEPA Hall Rockdale next Sunday.
Ring 95884144 or 0418204466 for further information.
Russell L Darnley OAM