I became fascinated by this project. And inspired. It was as though I had infused wisdom and skill from the warrior goddess, Athena. I could feel it in the air. I understood why the ancients worshiped her. Her attributes were divine. She was a goddess of war. But also Justice. She held the scales in her hands. And she was passionate. Those are divine ideas and worthy of worship. Anyway, it inspired me to do a project on her behalf. And fight for the Marbles.
This war, however, did not see bloodshed. Rather it was a war of ideas. Making it clear that what they were keeping there were stolen artifacts, and demand their return to Athena’s temple, a place of worship, the marble glyphs and statues that were sawed off by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, in the early 1800s while ambassador of the British Empire while Greece was under Ottoman occupation. So the British were actually allies — or partners — in this theft. And Britain proper should admit what they bought from Elgin was stolen artifacts of a country oppressed. But anyway, he managed to leave Greece and bring back with him almost all the glyphs that surrounded the Parthenon. One ship even sank. And they had to go back to extract their loot.
And I said:
Let’s not be coy about this and call it what it is: Cultural Vandalism. Better yet, let us define the very act through the name of this perpetrator and call it, Elginism.
Let’s not pretend you are doing the world a service by making these artifacts available in your museum. As though you’re doing civilization a favor. Your countrymen looted a civilization that was oppressed for over 300 years by the Ottomans. This was the tail end, for in 1821 the Greeks revolted and fought a revolution that extricated them from their oppressors. So during these times, you thought you could just get whatever you wanted to, since who cares about those Greeks anyway? Sensitive guy. Bruce.
However he was mistaken. Because the Greeks have always fought to preserve their history regardless of being a favorite stomping ground for invaders. But the Ottomans were insidious. Like a disease. Trying to wipe out their culture. Women were raped. People prayed in secret. And important texts spread by word of mouth. The Bible, perhaps. And in the end they survived. So someone ought a tell the custodian of Stolen Artifacts to do the decent thing and return them to Athena.
She is waiting for them.