I love reading Mandy’s Soapbox, she reflects what I’m thinking, and many like me. In the 17 May column titled ‘A crown is just a stupid hat’ she asks ‘Who cares?’ regarding the commentary that went on for days about Charlie’s coronation.
The part that I really liked was when she refers to the history of colonisation and the way it decimated cultures around the globe. She goes on to say that British royalty wear stolen diamonds and gemstones.
Geoffrey Robertson, in the book Who owns history? discusses the arrogance of the English when it comes to returning the Parthenon marbles, that were ‘unlawfully’ stolen from Greece by Lord Elgin in 1801. Robertson says ‘his workmen removed 274 feet of the frieze around the inner chamber, fifteen of the metopes from the outer entablatures, seventeen statues from the pediments and severely damaged the structure of the building by removing the large architraves above the frieze in order to break the metal pins holding the marbles in place.’ The Parthenon took 15 years to build in 447–432BC. It is time to call it for what it is and, as Mandy says, ‘it is time we stopped admiring and celebrating stolen wealth. It’s time they gave it back.’