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Customer Review

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good appreciation of the Elgin Marbles, 24 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Elgin Marbles (Introductory Guides) (Paperback)
This book puts the Elgin Marbles in their historic and artistic context, and gives an interesting account of how Lord Elgin, who was British Ambassador to the Turkish Empire, acquired the statues and frieze segments that are now preserved in the British Museum in the early 1800's. By taking them back to London, Elgin probably prevented further deterioration to these priceless art treasures.
This book provides a good appreciation of the marbles themselves. However, the book would have benefited from an additional section featuring a reconstruction of how the marbles might have looked at the time of they were first displayed on the Parthenon. Also the book has only a short discussion about the art and craft of the stone masons who created these works without the assistance of modern stone cutting tools, and the limitations they faced in creating these sublime sculptures.
Lastly the author ignores the claims of the Greek government to their ownership, a topic which the author must have developed an opinion on over the years in his former role as Keeper of Greek Antiquities at the British Museum!
In the absense of his viewpoint, I would suggest that the author dreams of the day when the Elgin Marbles can be returned, perhaps as part of a scheme to reconstruct the Parthenon and the Acropolis complex with financial assistance from the British government?
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