Stephen Fry is known for his philhellenic ideas. His latest demonstration of those was his December 19 article, in which he asked from the British PM to return the Parthenon Marbles to their rightful owner: Greece.
Fry begins his article with the title “A moderate proposal” and introduces his idea both as a tribute to life for the also known philhellene Christopher Hitchens, who passed away one week ago, and as a supportive action towards Britain’s good friends (the Greeks) who are currently going through harsh times.
Fry makes an extensive reference to the Marbles history, stressing out that they had been removed from Parthenon during the Ottoman slavery time by Lord Elgin. Moreover, the British actor cites Lord Byron’s poem about “the proud Greek people”.
Next, Fry presents and shoots down the three basic arguments of the British Museum for keeping the Greek marbles (http://www.stephenfry.com/2011/12/19/a-modest-proposal/).
Fry further comments: “The stone quarried from Mount Pentelikon, the dazzling white pentelic marble from which the Parthenon is made, is for Greece what the marble of Carrara was for Michelangelo and it belongs in its homeland, it expresses it. There really is such a characteristic as terroir. Which is why something as disgusting as retsina tastes so delicious on a beach in Patmos and so horrific in a warm kitchen in Wincanton”.
Fry also mentions Melina Merkouri and her political campaign for Greece to get back the Marbles, as well as Hitchen’s book “The Parthenon Marbles, the Case of Reunification” underlining for how long and how much Greece has wanted to retrieve that part of its culture and history.
On the occasion of PM Cameron’s new campaign to boost the British’ national feeling, Fry stresses out that none of his fellow countrymen can feel really proud of his country if the Greek Marbles are not returned to where they belong.