A few fragments of the decorations remain in place but where, you might ask, is the rest of it? Good question. At the beginning of the 19th century, Athens was under Turkish control. (The unified nation of Greece did not exist until 1821.) Britain's diplomatic representative to the Ottoman government in Athens was Thomas Bruce, 7th Lord Elgin, a Scottish aristocrat. Somehow he obtained from the Turks an authorization which (he later claimed) gave him permission to remove artifacts from the Acropolis. Disputes continue to this day about whether he really did have official permission to do this. In any case, he hacked decorations off the Parthenon willy-nilly and shoved them into crates to be shipped home to Britain in 1802. This was done with little regard to damage. If a piece of sculpture did not fit into the packing crate it was simply hacked into a size that would fit. Lord Elgin originally intended to display his spoils at his estate but he ran short of money and, in 1816, sold them to the British Museum, where they can be seen today. The sales contract stipulated that they be referred to as the "Elgin Marbles" in perpetuity.