The Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles: An Opportunity for Positive Change in Cultural Diplomacy. 
The Parthenon Marbles are universally renowned not only for their artistic and archaeological significance to world culture, but have also come to embody  one of the most divisive issues in the politics of global cultural heritage. These issues are only likely to deepen as geopolitical developments in the Middle East and elsewhere serve to exacerbate the illicit looting of archaeological sites. It is against this backdrop that the world’s encyclopaedic museums are coming under ever more intense scrutiny about their collections and the circumstances of their acquisition. The British Museum now has an opportunity to transform the protocols of cultural diplomacy by reunifying the Parthenon Marbles in Athens.  For too long the Marbles have been seen as a focus of division and a symbol of ill-feeling between Britain and Greece. There has never been a more propitious moment for a transformative gesture in cultural affairs, the reverberations of which would be positive, profound, and long-lasting.


Dr Tom Flynn, FRICS is Senior Lecturer in the Art Market Studies Programme at Kingston University, London. His doctorate from the University of Sussex explored nineteenth-century reactions to Pheidias‘s chryselephantine cult statues in Athens and Olympia. A former Henry Moore Foundation Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, he  has broad experience across the academic, publishing and management sectors of the art world. 
He is a member of the International Association of Art Critics and has written and lectured extensively on the art market and its institutions; art and design history; art crime; cultural heritage; the impact of technology on the art market; and the historical development of museums. He is a visiting lecturer on the ARCA Masters course in Art Crime Studies in Amelia, Italy, and teaches at the Wallace Collection, London, at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and at Christie's Education. 
His publications include: The Body in Sculpture (1997), Colonialism and the  Object: Empire, Material Culture and the Museum (1998, co-edited with Tim  Barringer).