In the beginning of the 19th century, shortly before the Hellenic independence revolution from Turkish occupation, Lord Elgin, the ambassador of Great Britain in Constantinople, looted the Parthenon. In 1800, Lord Elgin sent designers to copy the Athenian monument architecture so he may use it on his estate in Scotland. At the time international politics were leading to the political cooperation between Turkey and Great Britain against the French. Lord Elgin took advantage of his Ambassadorship and the fact that the Sultan wished to be "friendly" towards the representative of the Crown, and collected an enormous amount of priceless ancient artifacts for his "private" collection.
Elgin looted artifacts from areas such as Central Greece, the Greek islands of Aegean and Asia minor where Greek Civilization had flourished. Shortly afterwards, he set his eyes and appetite on the Acropolis. Elgin had not been given permission to collect any artifacts from the Acropolis, and in order to do this he started to bribe with gifts the Turkish representatives in Athens and the great Vizier of Constantinople who finally granted Elgin a research and excavation permit. Once Elgin had this permit on hand he proceeded to bribe the Local Athens "protectors" in order to keep quiet while he started to loot the marble decorations of the Acropolis monuments.
The looting started in 1801, and Elgin and his people acting as Barbarians removed sculptures from the temples destroying the surrounding parts of the structure. These sculptures had been preserved intact on the Parthenon for more than 2.250 years, and even the most barbaric conquerors of Athens had respected them. For ten years Lord Elgin Stole, defaced, and destroyed the monuments of Acropolis without the Greek people being able to prevent the theft of their culture.
The Marbles managed to reach Great Britain, and Lord Elgin sold them to the British government, the British house of Commons accused Lord Elgin of being an "Antiquities smuggler", but proceeded with a vote of 82 in favor and 30 opposed with the purchase.
The marbles have been in the British National Museum ever since, being the major exhibit. Unfortunately the defacing of the marbles does not stop here, since the beginning, the British government has been showing itself as the "protector" of these priceless antiquities, but the British government was forced to admit that many of the British National Museum administrators have tried to "beautify" the marbles by scraping the original off-white colored top layer off.
The Greek people demand the return of the Parthenon Marbles stolen from Greece by Lord Elgin, also demand an official apology by the British Government for receiving stolen property, and the restoration of all damages caused by Lord Elgin and his actions !