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SCULPTURES OF THE PARTHENON

EDM (Early Day Motion) 1641A2: tabled on 17 July 2002

Tabled in the 2001-02 session.

This motion has been signed by 19 Members. It is an amendment to an existing motion.

As this motion is using historical data, we may not have the record of the original ordering, in which case signatories are listed alphabetically.

This is an amendment to an existing motion

This motion was originally tabled by Mr Edward O'Hara on 16 July 2002. This is amendment number 2.

View details of the original motion

Suggested amendment

leave out from 'Greece' to end and add 'but to the whole of humanity and as such are best entrusted to the care of one of the world's great universal museums, namely the British Museum which has displayed them skilfully to the world for almost 200 years, and where they can be ideally studied in the context of the artistic development of mankind from prehistoric through classical times; congratulates the British Museum on attracting 5.5 million international visitors last year, free of charge, double the number visiting the Acropolis where admission charges have recently been increased by 50 per cent.; expresses concern that the 14 blocks of the west frieze of the Parthenon taken down by the Greek authorities in 1993 have not been displayed since; agrees with the 300 Greek academics who have signed a petition condemning the cultural vandalism resulting from the construction of the new Acropolis Museum which threatens to destroy remains of an ancient Christian city and prehistoric sites crucial to charting the continuous habitation of Athens; and calls on the honourable Member for Knowsley South to drop his Private Member's Bill and put the interests of the study of our international cultural heritage ahead of misguided politically-motivated attempts to curry favour with Greece.'.

Original motion text

That this House believes that the sculptures of the Parthenon belong not to the British Museum, nor to the British Government, nor even to Greece, but to the Parthenon from which they were hacked, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thus to the whole of humanity; notes that work has now started on the new Acropolis Museum in the shadow of the Parthenon, with glass fronted galleries designed for the display of the sculptures in their original configuration with the Parthenon visible behind them; considers that this is the best possible mode of display for the sculptures and is possible only in this location; is mindful of the Private Member's Bill of the honourable Member for Knowsley South which is framed to make possible more international co-operation in the display of cultural objects; is convinced that the display of the Parthenon sculptures offers a unique opportunity for such co-operation which would bring great credit to Britain; and thus urges the Government to begin preparations now, in partnership with the Greek Government, for the transfer of the sculptures to Athens for display in the Acropolis Museum in time for the opening of the Athens Olympics in 2004.

The first 6 Members who have signed to support the motion are the sponsors. The primary sponsor is generally the person who tabled the motion and has responsibility for it. The date shown is when the Member signed the motion.

In addition to the sponsors, the following Members have signed to support the motion.

These members had previously signed the motion, but have now withdrawn their support. The date shown is when the Member withdrew their signature from the motion.