Christopher Hitchens was interviewed this morning on NPR’s morning edition, arguing the Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Athens:
“If you can picture cutting the panel of the Mona Lisa in two and having half of it in Sweden and half of it in Portugal,” he says, “I think a demand would arise to have a look at what they look like if they were put together.”
Hitchens points out that other pieces of the Parthenon have been returned by the Vatican Museum, the Italian government and the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
So far, officials at the British Museum have refused.
According to a statement on its Web site, “The current division allows different and complementary stories to be told about the surviving sculptures, highlighting their significance for world culture and affirming the universal legacy of Ancient Greece.”