The Parthenon Marbles International Law
The Parthenon marbles case is the most famous international cultural heritage dispute concerning repatriation of looted antiquities, the Parthenon marbles in the British Museum’s ‘Elgin Collection’. The case has polarised observers ever since Elgin had the marbles hacked out of the ancient temple at the turn of the 19th century in Ottoman-occupied Athens. In 1816, a debt-stricken Elgin sold the marbles to the British government, which subsequently entrusted them to the British Museum, where they have remained since then.
Much ink has been spilled on the Parthenon marbles. The ethical and cultural merits of their repatriation have been fiercely debated for years. But what has generally not been considered are the legal merits of their return in light of contemporary international law. This book is the first in legal scholarship to provide an international law perspective of the cause célèbre of international cultural heritage disputes and, in doing so, to clarify the new customary international law on the return of cultural property unlawfully removed from its original context.
The book by Catherini Titi, which includes a foreword by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, is a unique reference work on the legal case for the return of the Parthenon marbles and the new normative framework for the protection of cultural heritage.
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