Outline

The idea for the campaign came from discussions between Richard Allan MP, who has a background in archaeology, and David Hill, the Executive Director of the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles. They felt that the Athens Olympics in 2004 provided a fresh impetus for raising the profile of the question of the return of the Marbles. The effort would be helped by creating an umbrella campaign which could bring together new people interested in the subject, especially younger people, with some of the long term supporters.



Members

The campaign is being directed by a steering group that will be expanded to include new supporters over time. As an umbrella group, it aims to bring together supporters from many backgrounds and across the political spectrum.

Members of the steering group to date include Richard Allan MP, Nicky Artemi (Campaign Manager for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles), Dr Peter Derow (Ancient Historian at Wadham College, Oxford), David Hill (Executive Director of the BCRPM), Jerome Monahan (Journalist and educationalist), Matthew Taylor (Architect), Geoffrey White (Barrister and committee member of BCRPM), Clare Makepeace (Parliamentary Researcher), and Malcolm Wright (Internet Consultant). Advice has also been given to the steering group by members of the media and film industries.


Objectives

The prime objective of the campaign is to persuade the UK Government to make a commitment to enable the Parthenon Marbles to be displayed in Athens. Thus, reuniting the sculptures with the remaining 40% in Athens, to restore the unity of the monument. This commitment should be made before the Athens Olympics in 2004.

The campaign is not specifically asking for the Marbles to be physically returned before the Olympics, though this would be excellent if it were possible. It sees the physical return as being dependent on the preparation of a suitable home for the Marbles and will follow progress on the New Acropolis Museum. This should not, however, prevent a commitment in principle on the return from being made.

The campaign wishes to
  • raise the profile of the return of the Marbles as a public policy issue by placing articles in the principle national media outlets throughout 2002.
  • engage Members of Parliament in the debate about the Marbles by encouraging constituents to send letters and postcards.
  • engage members of the public in the debate about the Marbles by distributing campaign packs
  • enlist the support of well-known public figures for the case for return
  • enlist the support of academics for the case for return.
  • to encourage debate about the Marbles in educational settings


Campaign Context

The campaign recognises that it is one part of a wide set of moves towards the same objective. It will therefore try to tie itself into limited and specific goals and will aim to liase with all other interested parties.

Other key parties include the Government of Greece, the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles (BCRPM), the All Party Parliamentary Greece Group and international restitution campaigns.


Campaign Funding

The campaign largely depends on a voluntary work from many individual supporters. A small amount of funding has been secured from the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles for events and publicity material.




Parthenon 2004 Campaign