The Elgin family

The Elgin family is notorious in history. A father and son were responsible for the desecration of two famous monuments.

Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin was the British ambassador to the Ottoman court at Constantinople. Using his connections with the Ottoman Court he obtained a firman to view and draw the Acropolis. The firman also said ” when they wished to take away some pieces of stone with old inscriptions, and figures,” no opposition should be made.

There was no specific permission to cut sculptures off the Parthenon. And yet Lord Elgin cut most of the sculptures and carted them off to England in 1840s. {p 341 to 342 Connelly}.

In 1860 James Bruce the 8th Earl of Elgin looted and then burnt the Summer Palace. The French refused to participate. {p 48 Hevia}.

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