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Imperial Spoils: The Curious Case of the Elgin Marbles

Imperial Spoils: The Curious Case of the Elgin Marbles

by Christopher Hitchens, Graham Binns, Robert Browning

Editorial Reviews

Herbert Mitgang
Mr. Hitchens's book is a bit outdated. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Thomas Bruce, seventh earl of Elgin and British ambassador to the Ottoman empire, removed the Parthenon's sculptured friezes to the British Museum, he ignited a controversy that has not abated in a century and a half. Was Elgin a preservationist or an imperialist thief? Should Britain return the marbles to the Greek government? In this short, gracefully written, engaging broadside, Hitchens, a columnist for the Nation , makes a forceful case for full restitution of the sculptures. Lord Elgin, who considered keeping the marbles himself and charging admission to see them, comes off as an enterprising pirate. In a prefatory essay on the Parthenon, Browning, a classics professor at the University of London, traces the building's history as temple to Athena, makeshift Christian church, school for Greek girls, Turkish arms dump. The international effort now underway to restore the Parthenon and the Acropolis is discussed in a closing essay by Binns, who heads the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles. Photos. (July)

Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Meet the Author

Chistopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was among the most wide-ranging, prolific and influential journalists and essayists of our time. Delighting in a combative attitude toward writers he disagreed with and frequently challenging conventional wisdom on subjects that included politics, religion, gender and literary taste, Hitchens was an eager debater and a much-admired stylist. At the time of his death from cancer in December 2011, he was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair as well as a frequent contributor to many other publications. His last published books included the essay collection Arguably and the bestselling memoir Hitch-22.

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