Education Ministry to scrap schoolbook with ‘monstrous’ Marbles reference

Greece’s Education Ministry plans to scrap an art history schoolbook which was recently criticized of misrepresenting the history of the the 5th-century B.C. Parthenon Marbles, now housed in the British Museum.

Education Minister Andreas Loverdos said the book with the “monstrous reference” would no longer be used at schools as of next year, while teachers across the country had received instructions on how to correctly present the subject.

The book, which was published in 2003, only mentions that the treasures, which comprised roughly half the 160-meter-long frieze on the Parthenon, were “transported” to Britain without explaining that they were taken away illegally.

The sculptures were removed in 1801 by Scottish nobleman Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin and British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, who then sold them to the British government. Greece has campaigned to get them back.

The British Museum, which was given the Marbles “in perpetuity” has refused to return them on the grounds they were acquired by Elgin through a legitimate contract with the Ottoman Empire that then ruled Greece.

Controversy over the book arose following recent allegations by SYRIZA lawmaker Tasos Kourakis. “It is unthinkable that students are being taught that the Parthenon Marbles were ‘transported’. They were violently extracted from their monument,” Kourakis said.