It is important for Americans to thank other people for favors even if what the other person did was very
small. Both children and older people should be thanked for any kind act. The person accepting the thanks
usually says something to make the favor seem small, or says that it was his pleasure to help you, or simply,
It is equally important to apologize when you have hurt or disappointed someone. When possible, you
should always add a reasonable explanation or excuse for your behavior. When there is some loss or damage
to personal property (财产), the person responsible (负责) for the loss should both apologize and offer to pay
for the item.
Most of the time the other person accepts the apology graciously and doesn't show any disappointment or
anger. But if the problem was really serious or it happened several times before, the person might say
something how he feels.
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The Parthenon in Athens is a building with a long and complex history.Built nearly 2,500 years ago
as a temple celebrating the Greek goddess Athena, it was for thousands of years the church of the
Virgin Mary of the Athenians, then a mosque (清真寺), and finally a ruin.The building was changed
and the sculptures were much damaged over the centuries.By 1800 only about half of the original
sculptural decoration remained.
Between 1801 and 1805, Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which
controlled Athens, acting with the full knowledge and permission of the Ottoman authorities, removed
about half of the remaining sculptures from the fallen ruins and from the building itself.Lord Elgin loved
Greek history and transported the sculptures back to Britain.The arrival of the sculptures in London
had a huge effect on the European public, greatly increasing interest in ancient Greek culture and
influencing contemporary artistic trends.These sculptures were acquired from Lord Elgin by the British
Museum in 1816 and since then they have all been on display to the public, free of charge.
Since the early 1980s, however, the Greek government has argued for the permanent removal to
Athens of all the Parthenon sculptures in the British Museum.They have also challenged the British
Museum Board of Trustees' legal title to the sculptures.
The British Museum, however, insists that it exists to tell the story of cultural achievement throughout
the world, from the dawn of human history over two million years ago until the present day.The museum
considers itself an important resource for the world: the breadth and depth of its collection allows the world public to reexamine cultural identities and explore the complex network of interconnected world cultures.
It also says that, within the context of this unparalleled collection, the Parthenon sculptures are an
important representation of ancient Athenian civilization.Each year millions of visitors admire the artistry
of the sculptures and gain insights on how ancient Greece influenced-and was influenced by the other
civilizations that it encountered(遭遇)．