One of the Parthenon Sculptures has left London for the very first time since the removal of the beautiful ancient artefacts by Lord Elgin and their transportation to the British capital, in 1803.
According to an announcement released by the British museum, the headless statue of Greek river-god Ilissos, an imposing reclining male figure, will be on display at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia from December 6 to January 18, 2015 as part of the museum’s celebrations for its 250th anniversary.
“The trustees of the British Museum hold its collection in trust and believe that the great things of the world should be shared and enjoyed by the people of the world,” said Sir Richard Lambert, chairman of the trustees of the British Museum commenting on a loan which comes in a critical time for the Parthenon Marbles dispute between the British Museum and Greece.
Greece’s campaign for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles begun in 1983, under the initiative of famous Greek actress, singer and politician Melina Mercouri who worked tirelessly until her death in 1994 to lay the groundwork for the return of the stolen ancient artefacts to Greece.
It should also be noted that in October 2014, a team of London lawyers, including Lebanese-born barrister Amal Clooney, wife of Hollywood film star George Clooney, were involved in talks with the Greek government to determine how it can best pursue its claims to win back the Parthenon marbles.