Where Statues Go to Retire

THE ONGOING CONTROVERSY OVER CONFEDERATE statues, which has seen these monuments removed from public spaces in more than a dozen locations in the past couple years, is the renewal of a historical tradition that has been going on for as long as humans have erected such monuments: the symbolic removal and recontextualization of artifacts from the past that are no longer relevant or welcome.Putting aside antiquity, in the recent past, this has included the removal of statues of a seemingly endless march of former leaders, all over the world: Alberto Stroessner, Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Muammar al-Qaddafi, Chiang Kei-shek, Saparmurat Niyazov, Hafez al-Assad, Hosni Mubarak, Enver Hoxha, Saddam Hussein, and more. Some of these statues are destroyed—symbolically, even ritually—but others are relocated, as is the case with most Confederate statues today.Sometimes statues are collected in one place, where the immortalized fallen crowd together in awkward silence, historical repositories of different eras. Take the “Garden of the Generalissimos” in Cihu, Taiwan, where scores of Chiang Kai-shek statues sit together, regarding one another. The statues are some of the thousands on the island—a controversial legacy of the late leader of the Republic of China (not to be confused with the modern mainland People’s Republic of China).

Source: Where Statues Go to Retire – Atlas Obscura

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