Posted on 01/20/2014

Photo taken on January 20, 2014

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British Museum
United Kingdom
Elgin Marbles

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NC315 British Museum - Parthenon Sculptures, Horse

NC315 British Museum - Parthenon Sculptures, Horse
British Museum - Elgin Marbles, Pediment Horse

The Parthenon Sculptures were created for the metopes high above the ground, to decorate the temple to Athena in Athens. This horse was part of the pediment sculpture in the triangular portion atop the columns at the western entrance. The work was completed around 440 BC. The sculptures represent a procession, with scenes from the then current mythology.

Seeing how the Parthenon had suffered damage over the centuries, Lord Elgin undertook the task of rescuing the remaining decorative carvings at his own expense. In 1801 he removed as much as he could, then in successive expeditions until 1812 his team took away around half of the original carvings. Some originals had been ground down for building materials, while others had suffered irreparable weather damage.

Elgin was almost bankrupt when the stones arrived in England, but the British government stepped in to purchase them from him, then presented them to the British Museum.

Even in those days there was controversy about removing the sculptures from Greece. The British not only said then but also still maintains today that the works would suffer damage if returned to Athens. The Greeks say that their conservators are the best in the world. They also claim that the 19th century British restorers actually degraded the stones.

The debate will rumble on, with politicians posturing as it suits their cause. Meanwhile, we are able to enjoy the marbles, now at eye level. I first saw the Elgin Marbles when I was nine years old, and they are still magnificent 56 years later. In another 56 years the marbles will still be there. Unfortunately, I won't.

Photographic Details

Taken at 1302hrs on 20th January, 2014 with a Nikon Coolpix S3300 compact digital camera, post processed with Adobe Photoshop.

©2014 Tim Pickford-Jones.

absolutely wonderful sculpture and portrait ! The Bristish Museum is such a wonderful place !
4 years ago.
Thank you so much for your kind comment, Isabelle ;-)
4 years ago.
Nylonbleu has replied to HairyHippy
My pleasure !!
4 years ago.