‘The Last Poor Plunder from a Bleeding Land’

William St. Clair

in Lord Elgin and the Marbles

Third edition

Published in print June 1998 | ISBN: 9780192880536
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670596 | DOI:
‘The Last Poor Plunder from a Bleeding Land’

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A rich harvest resulted from the first excavations on the Acropolis, since under Parthenon's west end, sizeable figures of the west pediment were found by the diggers which were likely to have been thrown to the ground and broken because of the 1687 explosion. As such, excavations were then initiated on the southern part of the Parthenon where some fragments of the south frieze and also from the early pediments were recovered. The key to possibly understanding the frieze monument was the central slab found built into the Acropolis' southern wall which exhibits the handing over of the cloth. These frieze sculptures were carved directly out of marble blocks using special saws which could have been acquired from Constantinople. This chapter analyzes how other firmans enabled other purposes for the issuing of the Elgin marbles aside from selling fragments.

Keywords: Acropolis; artists; frieze monuments; pediment; Constantinople; firmans; Elgin marbles

Chapter.  9488 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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