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Lord Elgin and the Marbles$
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William St. Clair

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780192880536

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192880536.001.0001

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The Firman

The Firman

(p.86) 9 The Firman
Lord Elgin and the Marbles

William St. Clair

Oxford University Press

In May 1801, the Ottoman government had been able to issue Lord Elgin's requested firman which would give his agents in Athens certain privileges. Although the exact contents of this first firman were not made known, it probably involved requiring the Ottoman officials to allow Elgin's artists into the Acropolis, to acquire and establish scaffolding, and to construct moulds. However, it was no longer of any use when it arrived since it was sent directly through Ottoman channels. The British intelligence system started its operations as soon as the French forces began their assembly at Toulon. Since the French were believed to target Greece, the Turks signalled the military governors to ready their fortresses. Lusieri and Logotheti wrote to Elgin about making a new firman that would enable the continuation of the artists' work. This chapter examines the key features and the objectives of the second and clearer firman.

Keywords:   first firman, second firman, artists' privileges, continuation of work, objectives, features

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