Dear Editor, Apart from the protest for the returning of the marbles of the Acropolis from the British Museum to Athens, a movement which argues against it has been created in Greece. This movement is mainly expressed through the online magazine, www.freeinquiry.gr
The arguments are the following:
For centuries the Christians who destroyed the Parthenon used its marbles to build numerous churches that are situated around the Acropolis. A walk along the specific areas is enough for any non-specialist visitor to see the ancient marbles used in the churches situated in archaeological sites just below the Acropolis (Theatre of Dionysus, Ancient Agora, etc.) as well as in the whole area of Plaka.
The Christian emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, Justinian, was the first one who removed marble parts from the Parthenon in the 6th century AD, which he used in the building of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Of course, the Greeks don’t even think about requesting the return of these marbles, due to their sensitivity towards Hagia Sophia.
If the Greeks truly want the marbles to return to the Acropolis, they don’t need to address the British Museum. They should start with these Christian churches situated in the archaeological sites below and around the Acropolis and Plaka.
The Greek governments have to issue special orders concerning the study and research so as to remove the parts of the ancient marbles from the churches of the area of the Acropolis and their relocation in the Parthenon. Maybe after that, Greece could have the legal right to ask for the return of the marbles from the British Museum, after, of course, asking for the return of the marbles removed by Justinian for Hagia Sophia from the Turks.
Yiannis Lazaris, Manager