Parthenon Marbles

One day towards the end of 1996 I came across an article in the Times Internet Edition about the Parthenon Marbles -- the sculptures from the Acropolis in Athens which Lord Elgin removed and brought to England. The Greek government has on many occasions requested their return to Greece. I got my class of six students studying for the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English to read the article.

Horse's head
After we had read the article we discussed it. The view of the class seemed to be that while many Greeks did not care about the fate of the Parthenon Marbles, they did care and they believed the sculptures should be returned to Greece. It suddenly occurred to me that here was a subject for a Web site that might interest my students. When I suggested it they were really enthusastic.

That night we searched the Internet to see if there was already a site about the Parthenon Marbles. There wasn't. Our site would be unique. The next day we drew up a site map and assigned research tasks. Letters were written and sent either by email or snail mail to the Greek government, the British government, the British Museum and the British Labour Party.

From the frieze

During the Christmas break the students each summarised a chapter from an excellent pamphlet on the Elgin Marbles. I returned to England for Christmas and was able to go to the British Museum and photograph the Marbles.

The site was finished just in time to receive the first ever "Jammin Cool Site of the Week" award for quality of content and design from a Web site linked to one of Greece's three state TV channels. The site has been featured on local and national TV stations in Greece, as well as in national newspapers and Internet magazines both in Greece and abroad. The site has been translated into Greek and French and is mirrored in the UK, Greece, the USA and Germany, where a German translation is underway.

My students practised their English -- reading, writing, speaking and listening. They got a lot of enjoyment out of the project and they have contributed a unique site to the World Wide Web on a subject they feel strongly about.

If you would like to see my students' work, then visit the Parthenon Marbles site. But you will finish your tour of my Home Page first, won't you?

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