There are many in Britain who favour the abolition of the House of Lords. We do not wish to take a position on this question. However, some of the views expressed in a question and answer session in the House of Lords on 19 May 1997 on the subject of the Parthenon Marbles will provide much ammunition for those supporting abolition. Below we print some of the comments expressed by their Lordships on the subject of the Marbles and the Greek people. All the misconceptions contained in these questions and statements, apart from that by the admirably-named Baroness Strange, are answered elsewhere on this web site.

frieze detail Lord Wyatt of Weeford: My Lords, is the Minister aware that it would be dangerous to return the marbles to Athens because they were under attack by Turkish and Greek fire in the Parthenon when they were rescued and the volatile Greeks might easily start hurling bombs around again?

Baroness Strange: Does he [the Minister] agree that, if the principle of returning the Parthenon Marbles were accepted, every single tourist who went abroad might have to return his or her souvenirs bought in good faith?

Lord Boyd Carpenter: My Lords, will the Minister bear in mind that the survival of these lovely creations results from their being taken over by this country and that it is therefore very important that they should stay here?

Lord Strabolgi: My Lords, is my noble friend aware that such a move [to return the Marbles] would be an unwelcome precedent? If we started to return works of art to other countries, there would not be much left in our museums and galleries.

The whole debate, published in Hansard, simply reveals how much ignorance remains on the whole question of the Parthenon Marbles. Perhaps their Lordships should hang up their ermine for five minutes and take a look at our web site!

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