Have you lost your mar­bles,

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

NO, Athena! No, no. Some of the six mil­lion of us who visit the Bri­tish Mu­seum each year must quickly quash the idea that the El­gin Mar­bles need to re­turn to Athens (Au­gust 24). They were legally ac­quired and they have been kept safely here for 200 years. They are su­perbly dis­played and no ad­mis­sion is charged to see them.

For 26 years between 1973 and 1999, I was one of the judges of the Na­tional Her­itage Mu­seum of the Year Award. I vis­ited hun­dreds of UK mu­se­ums and can­not think of one in which there might not be a pos­si­ble ar­gu­ment for repa­tri­a­tion of some arte­fact.

Let our mu­se­ums be. En­cour­age them, sup­port them and en­joy them, but don’t open the flood­gates of a ‘mu­seum drain’. Lady White, Lon­don

WERE the mar­bles a soli­tary item, one might agree with Athena, but all over the world, coun­tries are lob­by­ing to re­gain items trans­ferred to Europe in the days of Euro­pean power. The In­di­ans want the Koh-i-noor di­a­mond (set in the crown of the late Queen Mother, left) and the Egyp­tians the head of Ne­fer­titi, which is in Berlin to­gether with the Ishtar Gate from Iraq, built by Ne­buchad­nez­zar II. Where do we stop? David Da­mant, by email

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