“We have here the surrealistic picture of a divided monument,” Professor Dimitrios Pandermalis told me as he walked me through the exhibition. “The buildings of the Acropolis laid the foundations of Western civilisation. We should have this monument as complete as possible. It’s clearly ridiculous when you have a body in London and a head in Athens to keep the two pieces separate.”

The body in question belongs to Iris, a messenger deity who took part in the gathering of the gods at the culmination of the Panathenaic procession. You can find her on Block V of the British Museum’s Parthenon Galleries, directly opposite the entrance. Her body is intact, but her wings and head are missing, because the top left corner of the block was broken off, probably by Elgin’s men. “This is almost a culturally criminal case,” Professor Pandermalis exclaimed, before adding, diplomatically: “dating back 200 years, of course.”