Publication Date



Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal


In the early morning light on July 31, 1801, a ship-carpenter, five crew members, and twenty Athenian laborers “mounted the walls” of the Parthenon and, using ropes and pulleys, removed from the Parthenon edifice a sculptured marble block depicting a youth and a centaur in combat and lowered it to the ground.1 The next day the group lowered a second sculptured marble from the magnificent temple.2 During the next few years, the workmen stripped 15 of the 92 square-carved plaques of Pentelic marble (metopes) and 247 feet of the original 524 feet of frieze from the Parthenon high walls, as well as 17 pieces of sculpture from the pediment.3 In time, the entire collection was shipped to London. Except for the devastating Venetian bombing of the Parthenon in 1687, the removal of these sculptures from the Parthenon’s edifice was the single most violent desecration of classical Greece’s celebrated monument since its completion during the age of Pericles 2,200 years before.



First Page



Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law


Parthenon, Greece, England, British Museum, David Rudenstine


Cultural Heritage Law



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