The relative merits of monuments, a subject most pertinent in the mind of present-day society. Whether such reminders of the past are worthy of unfettered continuance, if their meaning and value supersedes any single negativity their very existence might arouse.
Certain statues, renditions, of persons and events are quite sufficient to raise the hackles of a myriad of souls, often quite understandably, but sometimes rather obtusely. General consensus quickly obliterates the very worst of any irritants, the reminiscences of tyrants, despots, autocrats, and oppressors, of events, tragedies, regrettable happenstances, echoing to us from epochs much better removed to the warning annals of history than presented presently in candid public view.
Contextualization is vital, the understanding that present day values, thoughts, ethical and moral considerations whilst quite correctly liberalizing a world too often in the past dark and despicable, should never obliterate the journey of enlightenment that brought us to this moment, in fact should rather praise and validate such forward progress. A simple explanation will often suffice, placing the figure or scene in historical perspective, pointing out the merits and failings of those illumined in marble of bronze. No excuse for the subjects errors should be offered, rather simply their relevance, in the track of time.
I was born in a land of monuments, illustrating, marking the passage of thousands of years. Some are magnificent, others disturbing, but all are educating if treated with candor. Whether the remarkable standing stones of Stonehenge, of the overly flamboyant statue of a long past most disappointing sovereign, quite rightly suffering the fate of his head being split from his body, all beg questions, about their import when originally constructed, founded, and of course presently. The purpose their existence ever offered, and their continued preservation might provide.
Orwell’s great work, ‘1984’, does not just warn of newspeak, but also the wholesale destruction of the past, isolating a population from any connection to or memory of lessons, fruitful, or barren.