The Parthenon sculptures collected by Lord Elgin nearly 200 years ago rank amongst the highest achievements of mankind. Since they went on display in the British Museum in 1817, artists, scholars, poets and millions of visitors have stood before them in wonder. This book tells their story, beginning in the fifth century BC when the Parthenon was built in Athens. The author explains what the sculptures represent, who made them and how they fitted into the grand design of the temple. He describes their gradual destruction by religious zealots, beseiging Venetians and other vandals before Lord Elgin brought them to the safety of London.