As a country, we’re going through a time of reflection brought on by the protests of Black citizens of the racism they face by law enforcement and in all areas of their everyday lives. As we strive to have meaningful conversations about race, one of the casualties of the Black Lives Matter movement has been the statues of Confederate generals and early explorers like Christopher Columbus. There are further calls to keep toppling statues until every reminder of racism is removed from sight.
So is any statue safe? Sure!
On Twitter, author and historian James Barr asked a provoking question about the value of statues occupying public parks and streets. He got plenty of answers.
Here are 12 statues everyone seems to like.
A life-size Gundam!
The Famine statues were presented to the City of Dublin in 1997.
3. Sheffield, United Kingdom
Bronze sculpture by Martin Jennings that remembers the women of Sheffield who worked the steel factories during WWI and WWII.
By Gustav Vigeland. The babies are evil spirits.
Terry Fox was a Canadian athelete and amputee who ran across Canada to raise money for cancer research.
6. Vaxjo, Sweden
7. New York
By artist Paige Bradley to show a figure disconnecting herself from attachments.
Mary Seacole was a Black woman who traveled the world and helped people in need. She was best known for her work as a nurse during the Crimean War.
9. University of Maryland
Jim Henson and Kermit The Frog sit on a bench in front of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union Building deep in conversation.
10. Sao Paulo
Commerating Brazil’s essential workers.
11. Denver International Airport
Blue Mustang. Also called Blucifer. Actually killed his creator, Luis Jiménez.
12. Seaham, Co. Durham
Great War soldier by artist Ray Lonsdale.
Just as there are statues that commemorate people who are no longer considered heroes in the current context, there are many more honoring the lesser known men and women who changed the world in valuable ways. Other statues are artistic works and we need art to make us look at life in different ways.
Our history may be considered a source of misery, but we also need to remember the ones that made it as beautiful as they could–and still do. May we learn from them.