Noel Malcolm

Will The Parthenon Project seize the Elgin Marbles?

[Getty Images]

Thirty-five years ago, the late Christopher Hitchens published a book about the Elgin Marbles. Unsurprisingly, it was a polemical work; he was passionately campaigning for the return of the sculptures to Athens. But that was not the reason why I wrote a scathing review of it for The Spectator. Parts of it were plagiarised, as I showed, from the classic book by William St Clair; and in some places Hitchens dealt with the awkward fact that the evidence did not fit his claims by abbreviating the quotations, filtering out the unwanted bits.

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