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There have been debates on whether the British government should return the Parthenon artefacts, or not (The British Museum, 2015). It is a sharp controversy. There are even those who are questioning the validity of the acquisition process, and legitimacy of the Ottoman Empire to transact business on behalf of Athens. Others doubt the value of payment done in exchange. Different groups have canvassed different positions in support or opposition to the suggestion. The following paper considers the dissimilar points, and then gives possible determinations.
Those supporting the return of the sculptures to Athens argue that the Ottoman Empire was illegitimate. Consequently, it could not transact any legal business on behalf of Greece. Moreover, they purport that the payment by Lord Elgin was not the right value for the sculptures. They use derogatory terms like ‘Elgin stole and looted’ the materials. According to them, the diplomat hence stooped low of the ethical standards expected from a person of his stature.
On the other hand, those opposing the return of the sculptures argue that the revered materials were allowed in their original place for mass destruction. The sculptures, under the Ottoman authority, were left freely for grounding for commercial lime. They were also being broken and sold to tourists. Ambassador Elgin, being a classical arts lover, was appalled by the state of affairs hence procured the sculptures to share them with wider European public (The British Museum, 2015). Further, if indeed the Greeks feel that Elgin did loot the materials, they should have sued London.
In my considered opinion, the process of acquisition of the artefacts was done with a legitimate Greek government then. Further, if the process was jagged, the current Greece government should have instituted legal proceedings against London. They should have lodged a complaint of irregular diplomatic conduct with United Nation. I find the argument that the artefacts were left to ruin and Elgin saved the current materials factual. The improvement done on the Museum are current and do not reflect how it was then. Consequently, there are not enough grounds to return the Parthenon sculptures to Athens.
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