In 1798 Thomas Bruce became the seventh Earl of Elgin

In 1798 Thomas Bruce became the seventh Earl of Elgin

In 1798 Thomas Bruce became the seventh Earl of Elgin, although he wasn’t wealthy most would say he was broke or poor. Thomas Bruce also referred to as Lord Elgin did possess a unique set of skills and was well educated this helped escalated his military career. Lord Elgin volunteered to be the ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople upon discovering the British government was planning this venture, later he would accept the position. Elgin admired ancient Greek architecture which probably enticed him to volunteer for the ambassador position. He would go on to marry a wealthy woman named Mary Nisbet of Earlton. Lord Elgin’s new-found wealth is what would set in motion what later would become the controversy over the “Parthenon Marbles”.

Both the Greek government and the British government have very compelling arguments if I was to choose who has the rights to the ancient Parthenon artifacts that currently resides in the British Museum I would be inclined to side with the British government. In 1801 Elgin claimed he had an official decree from the central government of the Ottoman empire. Although this document has never been discovered or whether it stated the removal of any artifacts, you still must ask yourself the question if Lord Elgin statement was false surely the Ottoman empire would have tried to retrieve the stolen property. Later in 1816, the British Government purchased the Parthenon artifacts which adds legality to this quarrel. Another aspect that I think most forget is Greece was ruled by the Ottoman Empire during both events, Lord Elgin’s taken of the “Parthenon Marbles” and the purchase of the Parthenon artifacts by the British Government. Greece didn’t gain their independence from the Ottoman Empire until 1832. Since both events occurred well before Greece’s independence I’m compelled to believe Greece truly doesn’t have any legal right or argument to the lost Parthenon artifacts. Deep down I would love to see all artifacts returned to Greece and placed back in the Parthenon, simply because this was the point of origin and would amplify the Parthenon experience for everyone that visits. This assignment wasn’t based solely on personal feeling it was based on facts that we have discovered in our research, like most legal arguments facts matter. Any legal action requires supporting facts and shouldn’t solely be based on personal feelings if policies or laws are justified based on faulty personal beliefs this could lead to unjust laws being passed that directly goes against the country that the laws are being implicated.

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