The Parthenon Marbles Dispute by Alexander Herman (Art Law Library)

In this new book, Institute of Art and Law Director Alexander Herman provides a balanced, thorough and critical account of the history of the Parthenon Marbles, those famous pieces of ancient sculpture removed from the Acropolis in Athens by Lord Elgin’s men in the early 19th century. He also addresses the legalities of their removal and the ethics of their retention by the British Museum.

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The Parthenon Marbles Dispute: Heritage, Law, Politics is published as the first title in the Art Law Library, a unique partnership between Hart Publishing (part of Bloomsbury) and the Institute of Art and Law.

The book incorporates the views of curators, museum directors, lawyers, archaeologists, politicians and others in both London and Athens. It explains why this particular dispute has not been satisfactorily resolved, and suggests new ways of seeking resolution – for the Parthenon Marbles and for the many other cultural treasures held in museum collections outside their countries of origin.

You can order this book through the Hart Publishing (Bloomsbury) website and choose your country of delivery. Learn more about the Art Law Library here.

“Essential reading for those interested in the dispute, and indeed in the wider debate around repatriation of cultural objects.” – James Morton, The Times

“[An] even-handed and refreshing approach to this immensely complex dispute … An important contribution has been made to identify areas of compromise that might help resolve this long-running dispute.” – Lewis McNaught, Returning Heritage website

Alexander Herman has written a lucid and engaging guide to the world’s longest-standing cultural dispute. Like so many of us, he hopes for its resolution, and is scrupulously fair and even-handed in explaining how this might happen.” – Barnaby Phillips, author of Loot: Britain and the Benin Bronzes

It is a remarkable achievement to write with such balance and authority on so fraught a question, even more impressive when so many believe they have an answer; from now on no-one should venture an opinion without reading this gripping and important analysis.” – Sir Alan Moses, former Lord Justice of Appeal and co-chair of the UK’s Spoliation Advisory Panel