A Manichean media war is, unfortunately, being waged over the fate of the Parthenon Marbles, which comprise a prominent display at the British Museum and for whom official Greece has lobbied for repatriation since the 1980s.
Case in point: “Guardian” art critic Jonathan Jones recently called the Greek side “nationalist” for demanding that the friezes be returned to spot – almost – where they comprised part of a unified edifice: the Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis, the quintessence of classical antiquity.
On the other hand, a recent snapshot shows how pop culture, or rather cursory security, allows a soda can to be placed next to the Marbles – called the “Elgin Marbles” in some quarters in memory of the scoundrel who paid to have them hacked off the Parthenon and shipped, eventually, to England.
Recently, the current leftist government running Greece appeared to back away from pursuing a legal avenue to demand the artifacts’ repatriation. Yet the debate rages on, with the “middle ground” of multiple shades of compromise being squeezed out of the debate.