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The Cook: Elgin Marbles (Pr Only) Paperback – 1 Jul 1984

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Jul 1984
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Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (1 July 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674246268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674246263
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 21.3 x 0.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Product Description


When Ira Gershwin wrote the lyrics to "A Foggy Day," he expressed the "ne plus ultra" of London unhappiness with the words, 'The British Museum has lost its charm.' As a new series of paperbacks from Harvard University Press...demonstrates, such an unthinkable state must needs constitute the very slough of despond. The institution's vast range of artistic treasures is suggested by the titles in the series: "The Elgin Marbles," "Assyrian Sculpture," "Clocks and Watches," "Egyptian Sculpture," "Roman Britain," and "Egyptian Mummies," Each has numerous illustrations, [and] literate texts by Museum staff members.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I thought this a fine keepsake of the British Museum's pride and joy, the Elgin Marbles. The photographs, drawings and sketches are wonderful (if you know only the first edition, this second edition has more photos). The whole history of the Marbles' rescue is gone into, how Elgin saw the Parthenon sculptures being pulled down and burnt for lime, or being ground up in huge pestles to be used for building mortar, and the trying efforts he went through to save them, eventually getting them back to England where they are safe. I've been visiting the Marbles since the 1960s and when looking at their breathtaking beauty I never fail to appreciate Elgin's effort, because without it we wouldn't have the sculptures at all. This book, through text and photographs will make you want to go see them if you haven't already, while the story of their preservation is one of the great rescue operations in modern history.
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Format: 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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Format: Paperback
It is a blasphemy for the marbles to be called "The Elgin Merbles". Elgin was a common thief. He violently removed the marbles from the Parthenon during times that Greece was occupied by the Turks. The Turks always respected the Greek civilization more than the people like Elgin did. The murbles must return to their natural environment. The UK goverment must restore this crime against the National Greek Inheritance.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9258c69c) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
HASH(0x92589060) out of 5 stars Nicely written and covers the various ages i 2 April 2015
By Richard He Rides - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nicely written and covers the various ages i.e. 1.construction and original use,2. decline of Greek states, 3.used as a christian church in the dark ages, 4. used as a fort/powder magazine by the Ottoman Turks and was partially demolished when a canon shell hit the magazine (mid 600's), 5. continuous deterioration until Lord Elgin hired a crew of artists to make sketches depicting the sculptures remaining in the late1700's when it was still part of the ottoman empire, 6. and finallt realised that the sculptures must be removed as the Turks could care less. Excellent story

Then the naerrative moves to the sculptures themselves both in words and pictures. Very Informative. Might want to read with the Parthenon Enigma by Joan Connelly.
HASH(0x92a3478c) out of 5 stars Older book that is an excellent read. 7 Nov. 2014
By GB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Older book with an excellent collection of photos published by the British Museum.
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