London-based Greek singer and songwriter Hellena performed her latest composition, “The Parthenon Marbles – Bring Them Back” in a protest at the British Museum on Thursday afternoon, the Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA-MPA) has reported.
The artist performed the song 10 times over the course of an hour a capella, as she was denied permission to bring any musical instruments into the museum on the grounds that the noise could be disrupting to visitors, Hellena told the ANA-MPA on Friday.
Her protest was scheduled to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Acropolis Museum, opened in 2009 to strengthen Greece’s ongoing petition for the return of the Parthenon sculptures removed by British Lord Elgin in the early 19th century. The action was organized with the support of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, the ANA-MPA said.
“This is a story, a single piece and it needs to be put back together. Would you split the ‘Mona Lisa’ into two parts? Then why separate the sculptures?” the 33-year-old artist was quoted by the ANA-MPA as telling visitors in the room showcasing the displaced sections of the prized sculptures.
The singer was born into a musical family in Mussoorie, India. Her father is a Greek-Cypriot professional sitar and tabla player and her Swiss-Canadian mother is a vocalist in the classical Indian tradition.
Watch Helena’s video for “The Parthenon Marbles (bring them back)”: