elgin marbles

elgin marbles

[el-gin, -jin]

The Elgin Marbles is a term used to refer to a wide collection of stone objects including sculptures and inscriptions that were removed from the Greek Parthenon by the 7th Earl of Elgin, Thomas Bruce. These objects were removed from Athens between 1801-1805 and were subsequently purchased by the British Parliament in 1816. The objects now reside in the British Museum who received them as a gift from British Parliament.

Lord Elgin was allowed to remove these objects from the Parthenon when he was the ambassador to the Ottoman court of the Sultan in Istanbul. Some pieces of the collection were taken from other buildings on the Acropolis such as the Erechtheion, Propylaia and the Temple of Athena Nike.

The Elgin Marbles are referred to as such because they were initially housed in the Elgin Room of the British Museum. They now reside in the Duveen Gallery.

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