19th century Parthenon Marble shipwreck explored


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A team of underwater explorers in Greece examined the shipwreck of the Mentor, which sunk in 1802 as it transported marbles from the Parthenon to London.

Part of the ship’s hull revealed after the underwater excavation [Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism]

The sculptures, part of the Parthenon collection taken and sent to England by Lord Elgin, were recovered after the ship sunk and no additional pieces were found in last month’s or in three previous explorations, the Athens-based Culture and Tourism Ministry said in a statement today.

Three ancient coins, two silver and a bronze, were found on the wreck as well as two pistols and navigation tools used by the 10-member crew. French sea explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau investigated the vessel with a team in 1975, the ministry said.

Gathering artefacts from the stern of the ship [Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism]

The Mentor, which lies near the island of Kythera in the Mediterranean sea, was explored from July 6 to July 15 and the team was funded by the Australian Institute of Kytherian Research Group.

Lord Elgin dismantled part of the Parthenon frieze at the beginning of the 19th century to ship back to Britain. Greece renewed its campaign to retrieve the marbles, housed in the British Museum, with the opening of the New Acropolis Museum in June 2009.

Author: Natalie Weeks | Source: Bloomberg [August 08, 2011]



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