It’s not often I have the privilege to read matters analysed from a legal perspective. Certainly, subjecting Elgin’s appropriation of the Parthenon Marbles to detailed analysis is of a more than passing interest for me. So, it was with great pleasure that I read Theodore Theodorou’s reassessment of Elgin’s activities through the lens of a letter from Robert Adair, British Ambassador to Constantinople for the period 1809 to 1811. Adair’s posting covered the latter part of the period, 1801 to 1812 during which Elgin’s agents were removing sculptures from the Parthenon.
My concern, since first listening to George Bizos on the matter, has been whether any of the Firman issued were actually genuine documents at all. This concern is prompted by the simple fact that no originals have ever been produced by Elgin, the British Parliament or the British Museum.
Theodore Theodorou presents an extremely well argued analysis of the basic legal position surrounding Elgin’s acquisition. He sheds a completely new light on the matter, for me.
His contribution heightens my resolve to keep working for the restitution of the Marbles. I urge all readers to visit Theodore’s website.
There are some other beautiful elements of Theodore’s website, in particular the several images of 17th to 18th century embroidery and some miscellaneous historical objects, forming part of the Theodorou collection.