It is dishonorable for the British Museum to keep the Parthenon marbles | Parthenon marbles

As a bookseller, I came to Harold Plenderleith shortly before his death in 1997 to buy books. He had been chief curator at the British Museum, and I made the mistake of asking his opinion on the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles (Greece refutes the British Museum’s claim that the Parthenon Marbles were “removed from rubble”, May 23). “Never!” he replied, “Never! We healed the marbles when they would have been destroyed [by pollution?] if they had stayed in Athens. Her vehemence tired him so much that he had to go back to bed. I assumed that was the line taken by all the staff at the time, and I dare not ask about the notorious washing incident which took place when he was a junior in the early 1930s.

Shortly after, Glasgow Museums returned a ghost dancing shirt to the Sioux community and my friend, the poet Anna Crowe, wrote a poem above, including the words: “We still believe that some form of words, / or ritual will come between / us and the wrath of another. Not seeing / that our invisibility is what is needed. Those in the British Museum who are still struggling to preserve the Parthenon Marbles should take heed.
Margaret Squires
St. Andrews, Fife

It doesn’t matter whether the Parthenon marbles were “removed from the rubble” or not. They have to be returned. If our neighbors’ house is on fire during the holidays and we save their valuables, we must surely return them when they return. Keeping them would be dishonorable.
David Simmonds
Woking, Surrey

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