Africa: How the Greeks Lost Their Marbles - Britain's Shameful Colonial Loot


There is very little that is British in the British Museum, the joke goes, it was all stolen from other countries. Now, as calls grow for the museum to give back the priceless objects looted during the colonial wars, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, a new book by a leading international human rights lawyer makes the case for the return of its greatest treasure -- the Parthenon Marbles.

"When I hear the word 'culture', I reach for my gun." That line, originating from a 1933 play honouring Adolf Hitler, is often misattributed to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and suggests the Führer's deputy may have been a bit of a Philistine. Far from it. Such was his appreciation of culture that his firearm was almost certainly drawn when he came across a work of art -- in order to steal it. The British, of course, did much the same in their colonial wars.

Göring profited from one of the greatest organised art thefts in history. The Nazis freely looted European museums, libraries and private collections, mostly Jewish. Some 26,000 railway cars full of paintings, sculptures and...

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