Voivode A Deputy of the Sublime Port in Athens, his function was to be the governor of the city. As with the Disdar, this Ottoman officer received large sums of money and precious gifts from Lord Elgin to turn a blind eye during the removal of the antiquities from the Acropolis.



Kaymakam Named Seged Abdullah Kaymakam. He was the Ottoman officer at the Sublime Port in Constantinople who had replaced the Grand Vizier during his absence in Egypt. Lord Elgin had a cordial relationship with him, as evidenced in historical documents of the time. In order to facilitate Lord Elgin’s ambitious plans, he wrote a friendly…



Disdar The Disdar was the military commander of the Acropolis and one of three officers representing the Ottoman Empire in Athens along with the Voivode and Cadi, a Turkish Judge. He had succeeded his father to the position in 1801, at the time when Elgin’s crew was removing sculptures from the Parthenon. Voivode had threatened…



Giovanni Battista Lusieri (1750-1821) Italian landscape artist who was working in the court of the King of Naples when, Lord Elgin hired him. He remained in Athens from 1800 until his death, with the exception of a short period between 1807-09 during the Anglo-Turkish war when he took refuge in Malta. Apart from Lusieri, Elgin…



Pisani He was the Secretary and clerk of the British Embassy in Constantinople. Of Italian origin, Pisani was fluent in Turkish and was responsible for translating and drafting official documents of the Embassy in Turkish and Italian. It was he who negotiated with the Kaymakam to obtain the so-called “firman,” which he then translated into…



Phillip Hunt Hunt was only aged 28 when he departed with Elgin to assume the role of the reverent of the British Embassy. However once in Constantinople, despite the fact that he was a priest, he was mainly paying secretarial duties. A big admirer of Greek art he visited Athens frequently. It was Dr. Hunt…


Lady Elgin

Mary Nisbet A beautiful woman and the heiress of one of Britain’s wealthiest families, Mary Nesbit married Lord Elgin at the age of 21. Her parents were delighted to marry their daughter to an aristocrat. Being strongly attached to her parents, she agreed to follow Elgin as far as Constantinople, only after the Nesbits promised…

lord Elgin

Lord Elgin

Lord Elgin 1776 Lord Elgin was born in 1776 into a Scottish aristocratic family, inheriting the title of Earl. After his education, he joined the military and without any combat experience reached the rank of a Lieutenant Colonel. However his true intention was always to become a diplomat and to be involved in politics. 1790-1798…



Francesko Morosini (1619-1694) In 1687, the Venetians advanced to conquer the Acropolis, the Athens fortress, and to drive back the Ottomans who held it. The Venetians’ advance on Athens took place during the second Turkish-Venetian war in the Peloponnese, a region of Greece which had been under Venetian rule for three decades. It is noteworthy…