Mary Beard

The Parthenon Marbles and cultural politics: What are we really all talking about?

At a major conference held on 30 November and 1 December 1999, British Museum, Greek and international scholars discussed the nature of any damage to the Marbles in the hushed-up cleaning of the 1930s. Mary Beard puts the discussions in context and tells how, ever since their acquisition in 1816 by Lord Elgin, the Marbles have aroused fierce debate. Why?