Readers React

They're the Parthenon Marbles, not 'Elgin Marbles'

To the editor: I cringe when read the Parthenon Marbles referred to as the Elgin Marbles. Those magnificent sculptures never belonged to the man who took them from Greece and in truth do not belong to the British Museum. ("At Russia museum, Elgin Marbles statue is cast in a political light," Dec. 19)

The marbles were purloined by Lord Elgin in the 19th century when the Ottoman Empire dominated Greece. The Greeks would never have allowed him to take these integral architectonic elements from this iconic edifice, which for thousands of years has stood as a testimony to Western democracy. And, by the way, many of those sculptures were irrevocably smashed to pieces during their removal.

The argument the British had against the marbles' return is that the Greeks had no safe place to keep these sculptures. Well, not anymore: Several years ago the new Acropolis Museum was built, and a special floor to house these pieces waits for their return.

Joyce Helfand, Arcadia

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