Friday, December 08, 2006

Good News for Greece

The United Nations assembly in New York has approved a draft resolution that antiquities be returned to their country of origin. The resolution was put forward by Greece Minister of Culture Giorgos Voulgarakis who said “The illegal trade of antiquities is in the same category as the illegal trade of weapons, narcotics and people. It amounts to a form of organized crime that is directly related to mobsters and money laundering.” This can be seen as a success in Greece's attempt to recover artifacts such as the Parthenon Marbles kept at the British Museum which were stolen by the Earl Of Elgin, Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (1799-1803).

Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
By British hands, which it had best behoved
To guard those relics ne'er to be restored.
Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved,
And once again thy hapless bosom gored,
And snatch'd thy shrinking gods to northern climes abhorred!

Lord Byron, "Childe Harold"