This week, Year 3 have been eagerly anticipating their upcoming trip to The British Museum. The children have been learning about Ancient Greek architecture and have identified different styles of columns on buildings, deciding whether they are Doric, Ionic or Corinthian. Many of the children also designed their own Greek pillars. After learning about the Parthenon and answering questions about how and why it was built, the children were amazed to discover that part of the temple’s frieze is displayed in the British Museum.
Year 3 are now relishing the opportunity to see the Elgin Marbles up close for themselves. After learning about how and why the marbles ended up in Britain, the children enjoyed thrashing out their opinions in a debate which divided the Year 3 group; should the Elgin Marbles be returned to Greece? Or should the Marbles remain in Britain?
Many valid and well thought out points were raised during the Year 3 Elgin marbles debate:
‘The UK is a very popular destination with tourists. More people might see the Elgin Marbles as they are free to view in the UK’. (Remy) ‘It would cost a lot of money to transport the marbles back to Greece. They could be damaged in the process.’ (Joshua)
The counter-argument is equally as strong: ‘The frieze can only tell a story when the pieces are put back together. The temple ruins are incomplete if the marbles remain in England.’ (Ellson) ‘The marbles are an important part of Greek culture and history. They were made by the ancestors of modern Greeks so they have the right to display them in their country’. (Dexter).