September 26, 1687—An inglorious feat of Venetian arms.

“On 26 September 1687, a lieutenant from Lüneburg serving in [the Venetian Captain-General Francesco] Morosini’s army found himself with his mortar unit on the summit of a hill called the Mouseion in Athens…

.. It cannot have been a difficult target really. The range was no more than half a mile, and the brilliant Attic air made it seem closer still, and illuminated every detail. On the evening of the 26th the lieutenant got it right. The bang of the mortar, the whine of the projectile over the valley, a distant thump as it burst somewhere in the mass of the temple, and then, a mighty explosion, a cloud of flying debris, a shaking of the ground itself, and when the smoke and the rubble cleared, through a mass of flames the temple of Athene, the loveliest of all the temples the Greeks had ever built, was seen to be a roofless ruin. The whole ammunition store had gone up inside it, killing three hundred Turks, including the commander of the garrison, bringing all resistance precipitously to an end, and scarring the Acropolis for ever.

The German mercenaries it seems, were rather ashamed at what their fellow-countryman had achieved, but the Venetians were apparently not so much distressed. Morosini, so one of his officers wrote, ‘fell into an ecstasy’ as he gazed upon the ruined Parthenon…”

—Jan Morris, ‘The Venetian Empire, A Sea Voyage’ (1980)

And so, after 120 years or so, to Lord Elgin. Morosini was subsequently (1688-1694) Doge. His embalmed cat is in the Correr.