All nations build monuments to their past, and almost since the beginning of recorded history, they have done so in the form of statues to heroic figures, set in or near town squares or much-traveled byways. And there the stone or marble monuments live, weathering nicely to a ripe lasting maturity, touchstones to national glory and its people’s best qualities.
But what about when the heroes so depicted have been part of an authoritarian regime, perhaps even a foreign occupier that rules its people with a barbed lethal fist, only to eventually be overthrown and driven from power? What happens to larger-than-life monuments then?
Many countries have faced this question. The Iraqi people answered it in 2003 when, with considerable help and encouragement from U.S. soldiers and tanks, a small contingent of them toppled a statue of the hated despot Saddam Hussein in Baghdad’s Al-Firdos Square...Read More