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fiendishrabbit t1_je4dq9o wrote

"History needs to be preserved" is a very modern idea.


saschaleib t1_je4o4gn wrote

Meanwhile, ”let’s retreat to this old abandoned building that nobody cares about and that is located at a strategic and easily defensible location overlooking the city“ is probably as old as humanity itself.


atomfullerene t1_je5oj0b wrote

> probably as old as humanity itself.

Eh, well, it's probably slightly younger than however long people have been building stuff, heh


Bill_Clinton-69 t1_je8l2dv wrote

Aye, true

Shoulda gone with "retreat to [the high ground] is as old as humanity.


WhalesVirginia t1_je70bpz wrote

The Parthenon was a symbol even then. Invaders stored gunpowder there because it may make some think twice.

We see this even in modern conflict. People will absolutely use mosques or other historical buildings as a disincentive to attack.


I-melted t1_je5yqmh wrote

That’s because they didn’t have history in the olden days.



ClubLopsided t1_je66yw7 wrote

Philomena Cunk, is that you?


I-melted t1_je67ga1 wrote

Lol. She’s great. America have discovered her now. Much to my happiness.


valeyard89 t1_je8uhhf wrote

Yeah it's more like 'hey there's some nice flat stones I could build a house with'


Imperium_Dragon t1_je4pies wrote

It’s a big building in a good position, it’d be stupid not to use it when your life is on the line.


bastardlyann t1_je42wbb wrote

What was left was looted in the 1800s anyway...


Magneto88 t1_je4o84w wrote

Looted is a loaded term. It was legally taken. Whether it’s morally acceptable is another matter.


Eric1491625 t1_je59kjr wrote

It was "legally taken" in about the same was as Paris was "legally occupied" by Hitler and Black people were "legally enslaved and bound to forever serve their masters". It has no meaning to us today.

Saying the Elgin marbles were "looted" is not a loaded term, any more than saying legally enslaved Blacks were "murdered" is a loaded term, just because it was legal.


Magneto88 t1_je5eb8n wrote

The Ottoman Empire was the universally recognised legal authority for Greece at the time. Ipso facto it was legal. Like I said, whether you morally agree with the position and whether Greece should have been ruled over by the Ottomans is another matter. It was however legal at the time the deal was done and the marbles were acquired legally.


bastardlyann t1_je66yoq wrote


But who, of all the plunders of yon fane On high, where Pallas linger'd, loth to flee The latest relic of her ancient reign; The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he? Blush, Caledonia! such thy son could be! England! I joy no child he was of thine: Thy free-born men should spare what once was free; Yet they could violate each saddening shrine, And bear these altars o'er the long-reluctant brine.


But most the modern Pict's ignoble boast, To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath spared: Cold as the crags upon his native coast, His mind as barren and his heart as hard, Is he whose head conceived, whose hand prepared, Aught to displace Athena's poor remains: Her sons too weak the sacred shrine to guard, Yet felt some portion of their mother's pains, And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot's chains.


What! shall it e'er be said by British tongue, Albion was happy in Athena's tears? Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung, Tell not the deed to blushing Europe's ears; The ocean queen, the free Britannia, bears The last poor plunder from a bleeding land: Yes, she, whose gen'rous aid her name endears, Tore down those remnants with a harpy's hand, Which envious Eld forbore, and tyrants left to stand.

Lord Byron


dragowall t1_je6v5vk wrote

Pretty sure that this claim is being contested right now as there is no official firman from the emperor in the ottoman archives. There is a good chance that Elgin just bribed officials there to take the marbles.


sir_sri t1_je72iu1 wrote

The French government as recognized by the allies and later United Nations never recognized the occupation of France as an annexation.

A better example would be Alsace Lorraine (now Alsace moselle), which was legally part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918.

Countries and their territories are not immutable, and historical governments of countries have no obligation to follow modern notions of historical preservation. Anything held for long enough is a historical artefact. There was no government of Greeks by Greeks from 1453 until the Russian/ottoman capture of the ionian islands in 1800, and Greece itself wasn't a country until either 1821 or 1830 depending on when you want to say it's recognized.


dondilinger421 t1_je9npk7 wrote

What about the Basque? Should we consider them occupied by Spain? Should we all apologize to Sicily for assuming they're part of Italy?


PickledSpace56 OP t1_je433iq wrote

Just people doing people things. It’d have been magnificent to restore the building and repaint and keep the sculptures and artifacts there. Of course even since then there was two world wars and man it’s just tough.


BRXF1 t1_je4ko87 wrote

There's constant restoration work happening in the Parthenon but it's slow moving because restoring something ancient while preserving it and not destroying anything else is hard, meticulous work.

At the moment they're literally piecing together rock fragments to reconstruct the original pieces and where that is impossible they're building new ones from marble which is very similar to the one used in the original construction.

Here's an article from 2019 with some pictures.

Edit: Also, keep in mind that while the Greek identity has existed for thousands of years it has morphed and shifted and evolved. Athens itself has been conquered and administered by a number of empires, and does not have a continuous history as a major city or capital. Cities rise and fall and in the early 1800s Athens had a population of five thousand (yes, thousand) people. It was a forgotten backwater.


BaBaFiCo t1_je47kqc wrote

We've shifted away from restoration, which was more popular in previous eras, to preservation.


Graega t1_je4ap68 wrote

Besides, if you repainted everything Greek to the colors they actually were, your eyes would bleed. I imagine ancient Greece was less Houses of the Holy and more my nephew with a box of crayons and no supervision.


szabiy t1_je73jb3 wrote

The weird crayon like coloured facsimiles we see as examples are based on historians colouring statue copies with flat colours matched to minute remnants of original paint—not artists, and especially not artists with any sort of proper clue about the intricacies of the original paintwork, being allowed to make stuff up. They extract a flake of red from the groove of a cloak, that's the 'crayon' they get to use for the cloak in their reconstruction.

AFAIK there's no extant statue paint job preserved well enough for us to get a decent clue at how the statues may have been originally shaded, blended, hatched, textured, and patterned by contemporary top artists, or to confirm they weren't. It's kind of a big deal we know they were painted at all.

I guess I'm trying to say, don't be too bummed out, we don't have enough proof the ancient artists had paint game as weak as our non artist archaeologists.


valeyard89 t1_je8uoep wrote

Our first guest speaker comes from the year 400 BC, a time when most of the world looked like the cover of the Led Zeppelin album, Houses of the Holy.

We were there. There were many steps and columns. It was most tranquil.

He is sometimes known as the father of modern thought. He was the teacher of Plato, who was in turn the teacher of Aristotle, and like Ozzy Osbourne, was repeatedly accused of corruption of the young.


mvdenk t1_je5lbso wrote

It was, next to the other given reasons, also done semi-intionally targeted against the "heathen pagan religions of old". In the past, there were many Christian and Muslim groups actively despising or destroying pagan monuments (even still in the modern era, see the Taliban for example).


rocima t1_je7b9dj wrote

Or sometimes the opposite. I've written a longer comment in this thread mentioning that as Pagan temples fell into disuse in Ancient Rome as the empire rapidly Christianised, the authorities kept promulgating laws every twenty or thirty years against despoiling the old, pagan buildings (apparently they were good tourist attractions!). However, making new laws means that the old laws weren't working. And this was mainly that the older structures were too convenient as quarries of ready dressed material to reuse in new buildings - churches especially, but also houses, palaces, fountains - you name it. Especially as the older Roman infrastructure & huge slave numbers were declining rapidly.

Only the sanctity of a few holy sites saved them - for a time: the Pantheon became a church (but was still stripped of its Roman bronze doors in the 17th century) and the Colosseum (a martyrs' shrine) survived pretty well till the 16th century when the Pope no less gave his nephew permission to demolish a large part of it to build a suitably enormous palace.