The Elgin Marbles Leave Britain for First Tme

The Telegraph, Keith Perry
December 5, 2014

The British Museum has allowed one of the Elgin Marbles to leave London for the first time after lending a sculpture to a Russian museum.

The headless statue of a Greek river-god will be unveiled in the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg on Friday as part of the celebrations for the institution’s 250th anniversary.

The move comes despite fears of a new Cold War between the Kremlin and the west.

The artwork’s arrival there after a top secret journey, is likely to further inflame one of the world’s longest-running cultural heritage disputes: the Greek government’s claim to the 2,500-year-old sculptures that were removed from the Parthenon in Athens in the19th century by Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, told The Times: “The politics of both museums have been that the more chilly the politics between governments the more important the relationship between museums.”

More here