Parthenon Marbles conference brings experts together in Athens

The fate of the Parthenon Marbles is the subject of a conference this Wednesday, March 12 at the Zappeion Hall. Leading Greek and British politicians, architects, academics and opinion-makers will speak on «The Parthenon Marbles in View of the 2004 Olympiad: The International Perspective on the Future of all Antiquities.» Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni opens the conference with a talk on the city of Athens and the Parthenon Marbles and filmmaker Jules Dassin, president of the Melina Mercouri Foundation, will ask if we are answerable to history. Dr Antony Snodgrass, chairman of the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles, has chosen the topic of «History: Ancient, Early Modern and Very Modern,» while Professor William St Clair will raise the idea of a universal museum and illustrator Michael Daley will argue why Greece does not need the Marbles. Kathimerini’s Eleni Bistika will speak at 12.40 p.m. on the return of the Marbles and the role of the media, before a question-and-answer session. Keynote speaker at lunch is the guest of honor, UNESCO cultural heritage chief Guido Carducci. Then a panel of architects – Michalis Fotiadis, Bernard Tschumi (designers of the new Acropolis Museum) and Dimitrios Pandermalis – will discuss whether the new museum is a better home for the Marbles. Maurice Davis, deputy director of the Museums Association in Britain, will speak on foreign museums’ perspective for the future of all antiquities. David Hill, executive director of the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles, will discuss recent developments; Professor Jennifer Neils will argue the importance of reuniting dispersed fragments of ancient monuments, and British MP Richard Allan will speak on progress in the political debate. Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Lord David Owen are the guests of honor at the conference, organized by Hazlis and Rivas.

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