19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Elgin Marbles: The Story of the Parthenon and Archaeology's Greatest Controversy (Hardcover)
Without doubt the worst and most annoying book I purchased (silly me) during 2007. The 'argument' is shockingly unbalanced and prejudiced - in favour of Elgin when we do finally get there, and against Byron whose stance is seriously misrepresented. It is also littered with inaccuracies and historical errors en route: Demosthenes was a 'famous Greek philosopher' apparently, the date of Athens turning democratic is wrong, dates in modern Greek history are distorted or ignored in order to prop up the 'Elgin' case etc. etc. On top of that, it is tediously repetitous and in places almost even self-contradictory. Don't publishers employ competent editors who know anything any more? Or can edit? (answer: remarkably few, unfortunately). It isn't even a good polemic - for which a case might, just might, be made. Some of the history of the Parthenon is actually interesting and has some value for a general readership, but this is blown by the dubious quality of what surrounds it. Zeus preserve us from some pea-brained TV executive thinking there is a glib programme lurking somewhere in this deeply flawed effort with the self-promoting 'PhDiva' queening it up as presenter...
The author in the Acknowledgements makes a gratuitously catty remark about Evangelos Venizelos, former Greek Culture Minister, not having answered her questions - adding 'but politicians rarely do'. Given 'Dr' King's approach to accuracy and balance, others might also consider that to be rather good advice.