2018/09/25: the Parthenon marbles were a single work of art that should not be divided. Wouldn’t it be bizarre, he argued, if the head of Michelangelo’s David was in the British Museum and the body in the Uffizi Gallery? As Greeks have been saying for years, at the moment the Parthenon marbles are like a family portrait in which loved ones are missing.
One of the arguments most frequently made against returning the marbles is that the British Museum is a museum for the world hosting global treasure. By comparison, the one in Athens is insultingly portrayed as simply a national museum – despite the millions of tourists who visit the cradle of western civilisation every year. But to my mind Brexit makes such an argument totally redundant.
Can the British Museum really lay claim to being a museum for the world when the British government has jettisoned freedom of movement in its Brexit negotiations? I think not. Send the Parthenon marbles back to Athens, and they are free to be viewed by any of the citizens of the European Union who should choose to travel there, free from restrictions.