“Do you think that the Parthenon Sculptures on display in the British Museum should be taken to Greece?”
This is the question put to visitors of the Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) in an online poll about the Parthenon Marbles: if they should be given to the New Acropolis Museum or stay in the British Museum [http://www.yac-uk.org/news/120831/parthenonpoll]. Initial results are overwhemingly in favor of their return to Greece.
The YAC states it is the only United Kingdom-wide club for young people up to 17 interested in archaeology. The club is run by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA,) an educational charity working for more than 65 years to promote “Archaeology for All.” The YAC’s vision is for young people to have opportunities to be inspired and excited by archaeology, and empower them to help shape its future.
The club issues a magazine three times a year about different archaeological issues. The current issue refers to the well-known dilemma of the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles stolen by a British diplomat, Lord Elgin, nearly 200 years ago, and to a debate organized on June 11 in London by Intelligence Squared, which ended with 384 votes for return of the marbles, 125 against and 24 undecided.
According to the Greek news agency ANAMPA, out of the 63 people who voted initially, some 76 percent believes that the Marbles should be returned to Greece while 24 percent want the stolen goods kept in the British Museum. The YAC was started 40 years ago by Dr. Kate Pretty. Its name back then was Young Rescue and it was the junior branch of RESCUE, the British Archaeological Trust. Initially it was just going to be based in Cambridge but after publicity in The Times it was launched as a national club.
(With information from yac-uk.org)
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