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The Parthenon sculptures collected by Lord Elgin nearly 200 years ago rank amongst the highest achievements of mankind. Since they went on display in the British Museum in 1817, artists, scholars, poets and millions of visitors have stood before them in wonder. This book tells their story, beginning in the fifth century BC when the Parthenon was built in Athens. The author explains what the sculptures represent, who made them and how they fitted into the grand design of the temple. He describes their gradual destruction by religious zealots, beseiging Venetians and other vandals before Lord Elgin brought them to the safety of London.
The Elgin Marbles, designed and executed by Phidias to adorn the Parthenon, are some of the most beautiful sculptures of ancient Greece. In 1801 Lord Elgin, then British ambassador to the Turkish government in Athens, had pieces of the frieze sawn off and removed to Britain, where they remain, igniting a storm of controversy which has continued to the present day. In the first full-length work on this fiercely debated issue, Christopher Hitchens recounts the history of these precious sculptures and forcefully makes the case for their return to Greece. Drawing out the artistic, moral, legal and political perspectives of the argument, Hitchens's eloquent prose makes The Elgin Marbles an invaluable contribution to one of the most important cultural controversies of our times.
The Parthenon sculptures collected by Lord Elgin nearly 200 years ago rank amongst the highest achievements of mankind. Since they went on display in the British Museum in 1817, artists, scholars, poets and millions of visitors have stood before them in wonder. This book tells their story, beginning in the fifth century BC when the Parthenon was built in Athens. The author explains what the sculptures represent, who made them and how they fitted into the grand design of the temple. He describes their gradual destruction by religious zealots, beseiging Venetians and other vandals before Lord Elgin brought them to the safety of London.
The new edition of this insightful work begins with a critical reexamination of the rival Greek and British claims to the Elgin Marbles. That case study identifies the questions that continue to dominate the growing international debate about cultural property policy and which are subsequently explored in a newly expanded array of essays. The work goes on to pay particular attention to the law and policy relating to cultural property export controls and the evolution and development of the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on the Return of Stolen and Illegally Exported Cultural Property. The second part of this highly regarded book addresses a number of contemporary art law issues in essays on counterfeit art, the moral rights of artists, the artist's resale right (droit de suite),the litigation over the Mark Rothko estate, and problems of museum trustee negligence, conflict of interests, and misuse of inside information.

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