The West Pediment of the Parthenon is an exceptional artifact of Greek antiquity, excavated from the late classical period (around 438-432 BC). This marble sculptural composition, originally positioned in the conspicuous location of the pediment of the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis, exemplifies the pinnacle of artistic achievement in Athens at the time.

This artifact has dimensions of 1.6 meters in height and 27.5 meters in width. The pediment features a renowned mythological scene, the contest between Athena and Poseidon for the patronage of Athens. However, the storyline is partially compromised due to the artifact's damaged state.

When fully assembled, the pediment comprised over fifteen individual figures presenting an intricate narrative scene. Most of these figures, which include both gods and mythical beings, are considerably damaged. Despite their poor state of preservation, these depictions exhibit a lasting significant presence. Importantly, each figure showcases remarkable detail and naturalistic precision, reflecting the classical Greek standards of proportion, harmony, and aesthetic beauty.

The enduring charm of these fragments can be attributed to their impressive sculpted drapery, the manner in which light is manipulated across the marble, and the emotive intensity they portray. Enduring exposure to natural elements, violent conflicts, and later pillaging, the importance and grandeur of the remaining fragments have been preserved.

The assorted fragments of the pediment can be found dispersed among various museums globally. A notable portion of this collection was acquired by Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, in the 19th century. This act of possession has stirred controversy regarding cultural patrimony and loan ethics, despite the sculptures' considerable contribution to the comprehensive understanding of ancient Greek art and its influence on Western art history.

British Museum