Greece wants the Parthenon Marbles back:
and now it's battle between Lapiths and Centaurs
London 1 September 2019 - Visitors of British Museum didn't know about it yet: Greek government launched an ultimatum to get the friezes, pediments and metopes of the Parthenon back to Athens. The latest news on the contended Elgin Marbles comes from the Observer where on Sunday the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spelt his stony words: "I don't think Britain should fight a loosing battle. Eventually this will be a loosing battle".
It definitely sounds like an out-out, now facilitated by the context of Brexit.
We interviewed some arts lovers at the museum: all said they should go back where they belong to. But 'belonging' could be a complex matter when it comes to legal challenges. In the very first place when the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, the Earl's of Elgin, removed the sculptures by Phidias from the Parthenon in 1805, he claimed he had a licence issued by the Empire's authorities, but no prove of this has been found over two centuries. The appropriation then has always been held as a theft by many historians. Following bankruptcy the Earl's of Elgin sold in 1816 the Marbles to the government.
The 2.500 years old sculptures of Periclean age, attract thousands of visitors every day at the British Museums, they are an icon of culture and one of the most important collections. "Each year millions of visitors, free of charge, admire the artistry of the sculptures and gain insight into how ancient Greece influenced- and was influenced by- the other civilisations that it encountered. The Trustees firmly believe that there is a positive advantage and public benefit in having the Sculptures divided between two great museums, each telling a complementary but different story." the Museum states.
In 2016 the first-ever legal attempt to force the British government to return the Marbles to Greece has been a lost battle: the European Court of Human Rights didn't even hold the hearing as the case happened over two centuries ago. Now Greece is going to fight back showing a classical Olympic balance in advising the counterpart to refrain from their warlike instincts:
The fight between Lapiths and Centaurs carved in the metopes tells wisdom will prevail over animal instinct for possession. It's the meaning of Parthenon itself, the temple of Athena, goddess of wisdom, law and justice, erected to celebrate the victory of the democratic Athens over the Persians invaders. But the myth suggests also what British imperialism, with its violent instinct of possession disguised as expansion of civilisation, actually has been. The marbles should go where they belong, but it's also true they are desperately needed in Britain right now because of their deep meaning in a moment democracy and wisdom are hit by the centaurs' arrows.
Brussels - The ten single-use plastic items most commonly found on European beaches are now banned. These items represent 86% of all single-use plastic found on beaches, and about half of all plastic marine litter. The new Directive includes a ban on straws, cotton swabs made from plastic, plastic plates and cutlery, plastic coffee stirrers and plastic balloon holders. Beverage bottles and other plastic mono-use will have to be collected separately at a rate of 90% by 2029 (77% by 2025).
According to the new legislation, EU member states must reduce the consumption of plastic food containers and cups used for beverages, over the next six years.
A relevant part of the new legislation will make producers directly responsible for pollution related to tobacco products with filters, wet wipes, balloons and fishing gear.
In addition to the ban, the Directive introduces measures to reduce consumption of food containers and beverage cups made of plastic and specific marking and labelling of certain products, the introduction of design requirements to connect caps to bottles, as well as target to incorporate 25% of recycled plastic in PET bottles as from 2025 and 30% in all plastic bottles as from 2030.
The Directive aims to avoid the emission of 3.4 million tons of CO2 equivalent; avoid environmental damages which would cost the equivalent of €22 billion by 2030; save consumers a projected €6.5 billion.
Every year 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans.
At least 100.000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and the figure refers to the ones found only.
The costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe is estimated at €22 billion by 2030.
London 8 April 2019 - Forget the car to go to central London: ULEZ, the world’s first 24 hour Ultra Low Emission Zone is operating 24/7. It is the toughest Global emission standard to reduce toxic air pollution.
The forbidden area will save lives and improve health of millions of Londoners who will breathe cleaner air with NOx road transport emissions estimated to fall by 45 per cent in ULEZ zone. London’s toxic air health crisis causes thousands of premature deaths annually, and increases the risk of asthma, cancer and dementia. Furthermore air pollution has an economic cost to the capital of up to £3.7 billion every year, and £20 billion cost to the country every year.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “This is a landmark day for our city. Our toxic air is an invisible killer responsible for one of the biggest national health emergencies of our generation. I simply refuse to be yet another politician who ignores it. The ULEZ is the centrepiece of our plans to clean up London’s air – the boldest plans of any city on the planet, and the eyes of the world are on us".