After submitting your “presentation” on your artist, your work continues! In a departure from previous unit assignments, this assignment REQUIRES responding to your classmates’ blog posts as part of the grade! Specifically, you must post TWICE, to two different classmates’ submissions: in ONE of your responses, offer how your own research and stance supports that student’s argument; in your SECOND response, play the devil’s advocate and argue the opposite position, based on your research.
This Discussion Board Research Topic will be worth up to one hundred (100) points, and will be graded based on the following criteria:
- following all the steps and completing the assignment fully
- how you present an understanding of the Parthenon sculpted imagery as being representative of ancient Athenians, based on what you learned this Unit from the textbook reading and Unit Lesson file
- the depth of your research and understanding of the arguments made in regards to the Elgin Marbles
- the clarity and persuasiveness of your written argument
- your use of proper spelling, grammar, and tone appropriate for college-level writing
Furthermore, your grade will be calculated as follows:
- Your written presentation on the Elgin Marbles debate = 60 points
- Your first comment on a classmates’ submission in support of their stance = 20 points
- Your second comment on a classmates’ submission opposing their stance = 20 points
The student 1 essay:
In the Parthenon Freeze, in contrast to the mythical themes of the Meteops and pediments, Phidias painted the city’s greatest festival, the Great Panathenaia, in honor of the goddess Athena. The festival is held every four years and lasts for 12 days, with ceremonies, sacrifices, athletics and music. The festival culminated on Athena’s birthday on the 28th of the month of Hekatombaion in the heart of summer. That day, the procession proceeded to the temple of Athena Polias (Archaios Naos, later replaced by Erechtheion) to hand over the new peplos for the goddess’s old xoanon to the priestess. This procession stretches over 160 meters of Parthenon freeze continuous sculptural decoration. The freeze consists of 115 blocks. The total length was 160 meters and the height was 1.02 meters. About 378 figures and gods and more than 200 animals, mainly horses, are presented in this process. Most of the Freeze universe is occupied by groups of horses and tanks. The sacrificial procession is as follows, with men and women in groups of animals carrying ceremonial vessels and offerings. This procession ends with an altar statue of the goddess of xodonon (ancient wooden statue), donated by the people of the Athens people. To the left and right of the peplos landscape sit the twelve gods of Mount Olympos. From the entire freeze that survives today, 50 meters is scattered in the Acropolis Museum, 80 meters in the British Museum, one block in the Louvre, and other fragments in the museums of Palermo, Vatican, Wurzburg, Vienna, Munich and Copenhagen.
The pediments were the last part of the building that received the sculptural decoration (437-432 BC), a triangular space formed by the horizontal roofs and the cornice of the hills on either side of the temple. They made up a huge statue in a round, the theme drawn from attic mythology. The eastern pediment above the entrance to the temple shows the birth of the goddess of Athena from the head of her father Zeus in front of the god of the Olympics. The western pediment shows the conflict between Athena and Poseidon claiming the land of Attica, the legendary battle that brought Athena’s victory.
I chose Caryatid’s Election as one of the images. This is one of the Elgin Marbles. The six female figures of Election are called “Caryatids”. The pillar itself is a statue of a girl, so it’s kind of artistic. It is a statue of girls carrying offerings in an overhead basket, each with a height of a few meters. However, the currently displayed Caryatid is a replica, and the real thing is on display at the New Acropolis Museum. Currently, the number of exhibits is five. One of the six was the best-preserved individual, but Elgin cut it out in 1803 and took it to England. At that time, in order to prevent the ceiling from collapsing, a wooden stick was placed in the space of one body like a stick, and it is said that the citizens of Athens rioted because of the unsightly appearance.
The British side found less value than it is today when the sculptures and works were donated to Britain, and Elgin, with the permission of Ottoman Emperor Selim III, was in Athens, then Ottoman territory three times from 1802. From the Parthenon, a relief mural, later called “Elgin Marbles,” was stripped from the temple and shipped to England.
Because at the end of the 18th century when Napoleon was active. In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte begins his expedition to Egypt. The Middle East at that time was under the influence of the Ottoman Empire. In the first place, Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt was to interfere with Britain’s trade with India. Naturally, Britain will also go to aid on the Ottoman side. Earl of Elgin traveled to the Ottoman Empire as a diplomat in 1801 and contributed to the defeat of the French army. He was so grateful to Ottoman for that. However, shortly thereafter, in 1810, Earl of Elgin became the subject of criticism. When the English poet Byron visited Greece, he was disgusted by the traces of the carved relief murals of the Parthenon and described Earl of Elgin as “the curse of Minerva” in his book “The Curse of Minerva”. I criticized it. The problem quickly became famous, and the sculptures he brought back after that became known as the “Elgin Marbles.” In the 20th century, it seems that Greece has issued a request for return, but it has not been resolved. The Greek side insists on Britain that all sculptures and works are a single art.
I think the British side should retain sculptures and works. There is also a view that the Earl of Elgin brought it back to England and escaped from the later fire of the Greek War of Independence. If everything is combined into one work, modern times there is a technique to make elaborate replicas, so it should be possible to display it and assemble and appreciate everything. I do not think what Elgin did is a crime. However, as the word aging is used, I feel that it is not necessary to bring old things to the present day and make them a problem.
Student 2 Essay:
There has been some debate in the ancient art community in regards to the Parthenon Sculptures (also known as the Elgin Marbles), in whether the British Museum should return the sculptures to the rightful place in Greece or should Greece recognized England’s claim to the sculptures by right of conquest, as well as the significance of the sculpture towards Greece. As the sculptures provide ties for the modern Greek citizens to their ancestors, their country’s history, and their religion. With the sculptures away from their home country it can create a stigma and leave negative impacts in its place.
The Parthenon sculptures should be returned to their homeland of Greece, the sculptures were created in Greece and have a historical meaning towards the modern-day citizens of the country as their ancestors created the sculptures. The British Museum may have found the sculptures but they had no right to remove them from Greece and they especially have no right to refuse Greece’s request for the return of the sculptures. Sadly enough the British Museum has had a history of stealing artifacts around the globe from ancient civilizations and then refusing to return said artifacts to their rightful countries, as the British Museum believes they have a right to the artifacts due to the fact they found them, they seem to take an immature finders keepers approach towards artifacts regardless to their meaning and significance towards culture and/or country.
The British Museum received the Parthenon sculptures from Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, in the early nineteenth century. Lord Elgin received permission from the Turkish, who controlled Athens at the time, this agreement has been called under scrutiny over whether or not the agreement had legality, to which the British Museum has stated numerous times that the deal was made in good faith and should still stand, however it was not the Greek government that had made the deal, it was the Turkish who had temporary control over Athens, a country who had no ties to the sculptures gave them away without consulting the people. This is not the first time the British Museum has stolen artifacts from other countries, it has been estimated that “No less than 90% of African cultural property resides in European museums.” And yes despite both France and Italy returning their ill-gained artifacts, England seems to have tightened their grip on them. Not only have they refused to give the sculptures to Greece, but they have also refused to return the Rosetta Stone to Egypt when the country requested it to be returned.
The sculptures were originally part of a temple in the city-state of Athens. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Athena and was a symbol of power, wealth, and the culture of Athens. The frieze was decorated to depict the scene of the sacrifice of Pandora to the goddess Athena. The pediments depicted the birth of Athena and showed the competition between Athena and Posideon over which would rule over Athens. Athena won and was declared the Patron of Athens, the goddess was very important to the city-state and was seen as its protector. The Greeks celebrated the goddess for this and prayed to her and offered her sacrifices to accompany their prayers. While sacrifices, both human and animal have ceased to happen for most of the modern-day worship, Athena still has those who pray to her in today’s Greece, and the remains of her temple still have meaning to those individuals as well as others who simply wish to witness what was once the greatest moment of their country’s history.