Redefining the Conflict over the Parthenon Marbles


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Almost everyone in Greece and the United Kingdom has heard about the conflict over the Parthenon marbles. This diplomatic dispute between these countries is a textbook case of how restitution claims should not be handled. Up until now the discussion has focused on finding the ‘truth’.

Redefining the Conflict over the Parthenon Marbles
Cavalry from the Parthenon Frieze, West II, 2–3 
[Credit: British Museum]

This has escalated the conflict into a stalemate. Rather than a truth-finding mission, the conflict should be understood as what political scientists call a ‘framing’ conflict: each party tells their story with its own inner logic and these stories are mutually exclusive.

The ‘facts’ are not the point in a conflict like this. When Greece and the United Kingdom eventually reach the negotiation table, the question is how this conflict may be handled effectively.

Stephanie Kramer, MSc MA (University of Amsterdam) will give a lecture on “Redefining the Conflict over the Parthenon Marbles” at the NIA / Athens, attempting to redefine the conflict as a ‘framing’ conflict and will discuss the best negotiation strategy for all concerned.

Where and when: Netherlands Institute at Athens, Makri 11, 117 42 Athens. Wednesday, December 10, 2014, at 7.00 p.m.

Source: Archaiologia Online [December 05, 2014]


  1. I already discussed the legal issues here. This is a purely legal matter. If anyone wishes to put it in "political terms" then they may as well argue that the "right" belongs to the "might".

    The British Museum and England should be ashamed of themselves. Pure and simple.



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