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Outrage After Fashion Show Held In Front Of Parthenon Marbles

The Parthenon Marbles, the subject of much controversy last year, was again in the news after a fashion show was held before it.

The show, organized by British fashion brand Erdem, was held on February 17. Here, designer Erdem Moralioglu debuted his Autumn/Winter collection for the London Fashion Week. According to Erdem, the site was chosen to pay homage to Maria Callas, the American-Greek opera singer. He also mentioned that her role in the 1953 production of the Greek play Medea inspired his collection.

However, as the event was covered by media, it soon drew the ire of Greece. In particular, Lina Mendoni, the Greek culture minister, took to social media to express outrage. “The directors of the British Museum trivialise and insult not only the monument but also the universal values that it transmits,” she said. She also pointed out the deteriorating condition of the marbles and called, once again, for their return to Greece.

The Parthenon Marbles were a major political tussle between the UK and Greece last year. Despite rumors of an agreement, both countries reaffirmed their original stance. The UK disregarded any question of permanent return of the marbles, while Greece declined any loan agreement between the two countries. Things went worse after the scandal at the British Museum came to light, which prompted Greece to point out the lack of security for the marble.

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After Mendoni’s remarks, many in the British media tried to highlight the 2021 incident when the Acropolis in Greece was shut down to host a fashion show by Dior. Mendoni countered the allegations by arguing that while the Dior show was deeply inspired by Greek culture, the Erdem show merely used the Parthenon marbles as background décor.