Snatched from northern climes

Snatched from northern climes
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The emergent commons approach:

Greek demands to get back the Elgin marbles risk stopping a better idea: museums lending their treasures

The choice is between the free circulation of treasures and a stand-off in which each museum grimly clings to what it claims to own. Instead of grandstanding, the Greek culture minister should call the British Museum’s bluff and ask for a loan. The nervous British would then have to test the waters by, say, sending to Athens a single piece of the Parthenon frieze. If that piece were to be seized, then so be it. But if on the due date, the Greeks surprised everybody and returned the sculpture, then the lending programme would surely be expanded. By taking small steps, the Greeks may yet encourage the British to make the big leap.

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