The Parthenon has been called the one “absolutely right” building on the planet, and it now has a fitting memorial, Christopher Hitchens writes in Vanity Fair. Hitchens is among the first to visit the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, and it does not disappoint. Artifacts, expert reproductions, and a stunning view of the Parthenon are key. The one problem is what isn’t there.
Half of a central frieze is in London, the victim of colonial looting. But though “the British may continue in their constipated fashion to cling to what they have so crudely amputated,” Hitchens writes, other European nations “have seen the artistic point of re-unification and restored to Athens what was looted.” For now it’s good enough, “and one day, surely, there will be an agreement to do the right thing by the world’s most ‘right’ structure.”