Most Britons Don’t Even Want the Elgin Marbles

Sculpture of the river-god Ilissos, at the British MuseumPhoto via; Wikimedia
Sculpture of the river-god Ilissos, at the British Museum
Photo via: Wikimedia

By now, we are all familiar with the British Museum’s adamant refusal to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece. But what has transpired, thanks to a recent poll conducted by the market research firm YouGov, is that only a quarter of British citizens support the decision to keep the ancient sculptures in their adoptive home in London.

The survey, whose results were made public yesterday, revealed that a staggering half of the participants think the Parthenon marbles should in fact be repatriated to Greece, from where they were taken by Lord Elgin, British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire between 1801 and 1812. A quarter of the poll participants remained undecided on this issue.

However, the opinion is divided regarding the British Museum’s controversial decision to lend the sculpture of the river god Ilissos to St. Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum to celebrate its 250th anniversary (see “Elgin Marble Loaned to Russia, While Greece Keeps Getting Snubbed”).

Results say that 39 percent of Britons support the loan to Russia, which has irked the Greek government and triggered a vast number of criticisms (see “Fight Breaks Out Over Loan of Elgin Marbles to Russia”), while 37 percent is opposed to it.


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