12.05.2014

The Elgin Marbles Loan to Russia

I'm in Morocco, and my phone does not work here but ... I had to repeatedly check that it was not April Fool's Day when I saw the news of the loan.

After repeatedly denying Greek requests for a loan of the Parthenon sculptures - and even denying those requests were made, even after paperwork supporting them had been produced - and denying that iconic works were ever loaned, the British Museum first loaned the Cyrus Cylinder (made in Iraq) to our enemy Iran, and has now loaned a sculpture from the Parthenon to Russia. Yes, Russia, the country that recently held a dubious election to annex the Crimea and is currently invading the Ukraine.

If this is not a deliberate insult to our EU ally Greece, then I don't know what is. If I worked for the Greek Ministry of Culture, I'd cancel all loans to the British Museum and re-consider any excavation permits they might have ... Why is it acceptable for the BM to loan iconic works to terrorist- sponsoring Iran and neighbour-invading Russia, but not peaceful Greece where the sculptures came from?