Publication Year



Art, Elgin, marble, Parthenon, sculpture, art history, acquisition


Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture | Art and Design | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Museum Studies | Sculpture


Between the years 1801 and 1812, fourteen metopes, twenty-six slabs of the frieze, and nearly every surviving figure from the pediments were taken from the Parthenon. The ravaging of this great artistic and historic monument was the work of Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin. The marbles from the Parthenon, plus a caryatid and a piece of entablature from the Erechtheion, constitute "Elgin's Marbles." From the beginning, Elgin's plundering garnered controversy. Elgin has been seen by some as a savior who preserved the best of Greek art and by others, such as the Romantic poet Byron, as a n unfeeling despoiler of a helpless Greece. Whatever a person's view, however, Elgin will always be remembered as committing history's most notorious dismemberment of a major work of art.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status



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