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Letters: Elgin points

MICHAEL DALEY's piece on the Parthenon marbles ("That's ours, no it's not. Who really owns culture?", 21 November) is cavalier with the facts. The new museum at the foot of the Acropolis has, in fact, been given the go-ahead. The archeological excavations on the site are to be preserved in a modified design of the building. The ongoing conservation work on the Acropolis is recognised as of the highest quality. As to the past - 19th-century conservation work was no better and no worse in Athens than anywhere else.

Restitutionists have no such high-flown notions as "art belonging only to the soil from which it sprung". We simply believe that the division of this world-class monument between places 2,000 miles apart is unacceptable. I am sure that six million people visit the British Museum annually. I am also sure that just as many visit the Acropolis, but I don't rate the numbers game as an argument.


London N1