The following passage, published shortly after the opening of the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, very briefly comments on one of the exhibits of the Greek pavilion linking it to the glory of ancient Greece. Marble as a specimen of natural produce seems to transcend time and serves as the connecting thread between the past and present of Greece, yet the overall impression of the author is that of dismay and disappointment at the current condition of the country:
“Greece is represented, appropriately, by—a block of marble. Alas, for Greece! Here is a block worthy of the genius of Phidias: —perhaps cut from the selfsame quarry as the Apollo. But the skill to mould it into forms of matchless beauty—where, in the land to which Art looks, back and up as to the parent source, is that? To see the Niobe of nations in this destitute condition as regards Art, suggests mournful reflections.”
“The Great Exhibition,” The Monmouthshire Beacon, Saturday 10 May 1851, p. 2.
Source: The British Newspaper Archive