Skip to main content
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!

The Elgin Marbles Controversy

Daytime Program

Noon Lecture/Seminar

Monday, November 9, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0542
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
Select your Tickets
Powered by Zoom

Elgin Marbles, British Museum, London: Frise West, II, 2 (detail)


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.

Did Britain’s Lord Elgin rescue a 24-foot marble frieze from the Parthenon in the early 19th century or did he steal it? Greece's position is clear: The country wants them back from the British Museum.

But do the citizens of modern Greece have any claim over items produced in their region by people who lived thousands of years ago? While the controversy roils, the famed works, removed in 1801 by Thomas Bruce, Seventh Lord Elgin, when he was ambassador to the court of the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul, have already been renamed in wide circles from the Elgin Marbles to the Parthenon Marbles.

Join art historian Joseph Cassar in an exploration of these ancient sculptures made under the supervision of architect and sculptor Phidias and his assistants for the temple of the Parthenon on the Acropolis and the controversies that have swirled around them since they left Greece.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

Patron Information

  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.