Elgin Marbles highlight Ireland’s complicated role in British empire

Greek treasures in British Museum open up questions about our role in history

The Elgin Marbles on display at the British Museum in London. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

The Elgin Marbles on display at the British Museum in London. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

The case for the British Museum’s continued ownership of the Elgin Marbles is laughably flimsy, while the aesthetic and moral grounds for their repatriation utterly overwhelming.

But as we direct our attention to the evidence of Britain’s once-rapacious imperialism, we should remember that Ireland is not absolved of all sin.

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