Resurrected: the fall and rise of ‘disgraced’ statues
From Stalin to King Leopold, the butcher of Congo, there is a surprising history of rehabilitating toppled effigies
In 2020, there was an extraordinary global wave of iconoclasm – pulling down statues. From the United States to India, Britain to New Zealand, statues were hauled down by protesters and by authorities in the wake of the protests that followed the killing of 46-year-old black man George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Others were vandalized: there was widespread outrage in Britain when the inscription on the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square was amended with the graffitied words: “….is a racist”. The assault on so many statues provoked claims that art, history and heritage were being “erased”.