Arts Talk discusses Lord Elgin and the Parthenon Marbles

The newly formed Australian Decorative Fine Arts Society (ADFAS) in Coffs Harbour welcomes its first international guest speaker, Alan Read, who discusses the Parthenon Marbles.

ADFAS Coffs Coast (Australian Decorative Fine Arts Society) returns with its second arts talk tackling a controversial subject – The Parthenon Marbles or How Lord Elgin Gained and Lost His Marbles.

On Monday 20 March at 6pm at the National Cartoon Gallery, international guest speaker Alan Read will take the audience on the historical cultural journey of the famous sculptures from the Parthenon, discussing ‘were they stolen or saved from destruction?’.

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The Acropolis in Athens is one of the world’s most famous cultural sites with the Parthenon, the temple of Athena, at its heart.

In 1801, many of the monumental sculptures and friezes were removed and taken to England by Lord Elgin, a British Ambassador (of sorts), where they are now on display in the British Museum.

These marbles lie at the heart of an ongoing dispute between Britain and Greece and the fight for repatriation.

“This fascinating talk looks at the response to them over the last 200 years, from the original controversy over their purchase to the current debate surrounding the restitution of the marbles to the new Acropolis Museum in Athens,” ADFAS chairperson Libby Davis told News Of The Area.

Cath Fogarty from ADFAS told NOTA the event follows the success of the group’s first talk back in February about the Egyptian Tentmakers.

“We know people are interested in immersing themselves in our program of talks that delve into fascinating topics,” Cath said.

“It’s a great way to get out of the house, away from social media and engage in some real time information, in a welcoming environment with refreshments supplied.”

Socially it’s another local opportunity to catch up with friends and make new ones who share an interest in art, history and culture.

Guest speaker Alan Read holds a master’s and first class honours degree in History of Art from Birkbeck College, London.

He is a gallery guide at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, National Portrait Gallery and for Frieze Masters and regularly lectures at the NPG, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Plymouth City Art Gallery and other galleries in the UK.

He also works as a London Blue Badge Guide and a City of London Guide.

For more information you can visit the ADFAS Coffs Coast website at


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