Where Art Is Concerned, London Mayor Is Sure George Clooney Is Just Like Hitler
Usually the art and movie worlds don’t drift into comparing people to Hitler quite as often as the political world, where it happens every day. London mayor Boris Johnson is out to change that, deciding to compare George Clooney to Hitler because Clooney said that England could think about giving the stoled Elgin marbles back.
Let’s artsplain a bit. The Elgin marbles are not actually marbles! Weird. They’re a set of Greek sculptures that the British museum quaintly says were “acquired” by Lord Elgin when he was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire back in the early 1800s. That “acquisition” was controversial, to say the least, with some folks arguing that Elgin finagled/stoled/looted the things, and others saying naw mang, it was the only way to save these chunks of Grecian history. So, Greece has come around of late saying “oh hey, thanks for keeping those safe, but they are kind of one of our most important national treasures and maybe they should be here, hmmmm?” Thus far, the Limeys have declined to give the marbles back, even though both Sweden and Germany have ponied up their plundered pieces.
What on earth does any of this have to do with George Clooney? Clooney was in London promoting his new movie, Monuments Men, which you know is a trueish story about handsome Matt Damon and handsome George Clooney saving art from the Nazis. If you don’t know this because you somehow manage to avoid all popular culture, it looks like this.
During the press conference in London, a Greek reporter asked Clooney his opinion on the return of the Elgin marbles, which would have been a hella weird question during any other press conference but made sense here thanks to his art rescue movie, and after Clooney said he thought the marbles should take a trip back to Athens, Johnson went full Hitler.
“Someone urgently needs to restore George Clooney’s marbles. Here he is plugging a film about looted Nazi art without realising that Goring himself had plans to plunder the British Museum.
“And where were the Nazis going to send the Elgin marbles? To Athens! This Clooney is advocating nothing less than the Hitlerian agenda for London’s cultural treasures. He should stuff the Hollywood script and stick to history.”
While that may not have been one of the more outrageous Hitler comparisons, as it actually relates to something Hitler was doing, it is one of the more perplexing. So, you’re Britain, and you acquired some Greek national treasure art in sort of a sketchy way. And then many years ago, the Nazis were going to steal your stoled art and take it to Greece. So now if your stoled art goes to Greece — WHERE IT CAME FROM — it is just like Hitler. We don’t really believe this even makes sense to Boris Johnson, but since England is not going to give those things back, he’s got to hang tough somehow, and what better way to do it than Hitler?
Credit where it is due, however. No matter how overreaching Johnson sounded, he’s got nothing on Glenn Beck, who is certain that progressives made us save the art, not the Jews, because of what how academics all hate the Jews and love totalitarianism. At least we think that is what he is saying.
Congrats, Boris Johnson! You are not as bad as Glenn Beck.