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They’ve Lost their Marbles!: Lord Elgin and the Parthenon Sculptures (Ad Navseam, Episode 70)

January 12, 2022

The fact that many of the marbles from the Parthenon reside in the British Museum (London) has been controversial since they first landed there in the early 19th century. In this complex tale Lord Elgin has often played the villain—he being the one who greedily had the sculptures removed from Athens to decorate his drafty Scottish mansion. But is the story that simple? In this episode Dave and Jeff tell the whole story front to back with an eye to several questions: does Elgin perhaps deserve a bit more sympathy than he usually gets? What are the arguments for keeping the artifacts in London, and for repatriation? Why should Lord Byron—noted defacer of Greek monuments—get a pass? My goodness, what on earth happened to Lord Elgin’s nose? And, will the guys ever stop attempting Scottish accents?


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