“The Parthenon Sculptures belong to us – Let’s bring them home.” Sentiments of the keynote speaker and all in attendance.
The Parthenon Sculptures have long been a topic of contention with some referring to them as the Elgin Marbles and others claiming that they should not be returned to their rightful home, Greece. But the dialogue and the sentiments are changing, and it’s because of people like Mr. Emanuel Comino who is leading this movement from Australia.
On Tuesday, 8 June 2022, Mr. Emanuel. J. Comino AM, President of the International Organising Committee, Australia – For the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles, presented a lecture that we hope will be repeated, again and again, and again!
The Kytherian Association of Australia hosted the lecture at Kythera House, and was attended by the Consul General of Greece in Sydney Mr. Christos Karras, producer and TV presenter Mr. Peter Maneas, SBS Greek Programme Director Mr. Themis Kallos, along with other distinguished guests representing Greek associations in NSW, as well as members of the general public.
Mr. Comino took all who were in attendance on a journey through time from the 1600s to present, and put into context for his audience, the biggest cultural property dispute the world has ever known.
The lecture was presented with clarity and was supported with detailed historical documentation. Mr Comino presented letters and reports of the time that showed Lord Elgin never had the authority to remove any sculpture from the Parthenon and how they ended up in the British Museum today, as well as the publicly documented fallacies presented by the British Museum Trustees to keep the Parthenon Marbles in London.
Mr Comino also showed confronting visual evidence of the degraded state of the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum compared to those in Athens.
Mr. Comino presented an update on the campaign and spoke of his involvement from its beginnings and how he started the first ever committee in the world, right here in Australia. Mr. Comino showed pictures of how he, together with the late great Mrs. Melina Mercouri, began a movement of education supporting and influencing the likes of Mr. Bizos, the lawyer for Nelson Mandela, and how together they are continuing to work tirelessly to create committees all over the world.
Mr. Comino has created a movement where hope is reemerging, like a wave that is building in momentum, gaining in force, energy, traction and relevance – that the once impenetrable institutions like the British Museum are taking notice and are beginning to crumble from the weight of their own misconceptions.
The lecture left everyone uplifted and informed, with a sense of urgency to want to do more and correct this great injustice. Mr. Comino acknowledged the incredible efforts of the campaign to date and exposed the delusion of the British Museum, that allegedly Greece does not know how to care for its cultural property.
He referred to the Acropolis Museum and showed the state and condition of which the Caryatides are kept there, versus their stolen sister who has resided in the British Museum since, and reminded all in attendance that Greeks are more than just ‘capable’.
So, what can you do to help? How can you support? How can you make a difference? How can we bring the Parthenon Marbles back home?
The answer is simple, really. Let’s get talking. Let’s attend. Let’s be present and let’s become educated. We need to know the facts. We need to ensure that justice prevails, not just for Greece, but for all mankind, because theft is criminal and intolerable.
You can stay up to date with the latest developments by following and liking the official Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ParthenonMarblesAU/
Please also mark in your calendars, the trivia night to be held on 30 July 2022 at Mortdale Masos Club, 86 Roberts Ave, Mortdale. To book, please visit www.trybooking.com.au/904080