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We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Old Jun 13th 2020, 5:35 pm
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Default We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

"Its history" and "put it in a museum", are the new dog whistles.

The debate over objectionable statues has a standard defence, and it is nothing other than a dog whistle being blown by those seeing the fall of their privilege, but not ready to accept the fall from grace. That objects and settings grant respectability does not go unnoticed by them. It is a smart dog whistle too, as it enlists fellow travelers and more importantly useful idiots who see the words "history" and "museum" and despite many of them never having voluntarily visited a museum, think it a good thing, a noble thing, a thing that should always be supported. What we never hear is "put it in an anti-slavery museum", or "put it in an anti tyranny museum", not even a basic "put it in a slavery museum". Just the generic "museum". For some that is ignorance of what the purpose of museums is, other than, they must be a good thing (and most of the time they are) but for some it is the knowledge of the power that placement in a museum can confer, especially if it is just an object placed on a dais in a generic environment without context. That object can then be granted the respect and place of importance that often accompanies placement in such institutions.

What history is being lost? What history do these objects perpetuate? They celebrate the wealth and prestige that can be achieved by the sale, ownership, and accumulation of 100% of another humans surplus value. Do we wish to honor that, to further that, to continue that. But if we dont remember history, we will repeat it, I hear from the crowd. Thats is why we have museums of slavery, that display the shackles, torture devices, and plans of ships that were death boats. There is, just maybe an argument that statues of the enablers of misery are displayed in such museums, but even then, not without context.

History is not being lost by the removal of these statues, it is being made. Defenders of these statues are not the defenders of history but its enemies. They want the symbolism to remain in place, they want the respect of monsters to remain. Photos of the dismantling of these monuments to the lack of humanity that society has within it can go in our museums. Maybe a place can be found for the rubble that remains of them. History is not being lost, we still have people alive who heard the tales of horror, first hand from their grandparents. Do the "defenders" of history clamor that an archive be created for their stories? I have yet to hear one such voice.
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Old Jun 13th 2020, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Originally Posted by kimilseung View Post
"Its history" and "put it in a museum", are the new dog whistles.

The debate over objectionable statues has a standard defence, and it is nothing other than a dog whistle being blown by those seeing the fall of their privilege, but not ready to accept the fall from grace. That objects and settings grant respectability does not go unnoticed by them. It is a smart dog whistle too, as it enlists fellow travelers and more importantly useful idiots who see the words "history" and "museum" and despite many of them never having voluntarily visited a museum, think it a good thing, a noble thing, a thing that should always be supported. What we never hear is "put it in an anti-slavery museum", or "put it in an anti tyranny museum", not even a basic "put it in a slavery museum". Just the generic "museum". For some that is ignorance of what the purpose of museums is, other than, they must be a good thing (and most of the time they are) but for some it is the knowledge of the power that placement in a museum can confer, especially if it is just an object placed on a dais in a generic environment without context. That object can then be granted the respect and place of importance that often accompanies placement in such institutions.

What history is being lost? What history do these objects perpetuate? They celebrate the wealth and prestige that can be achieved by the sale, ownership, and accumulation of 100% of another humans surplus value. Do we wish to honor that, to further that, to continue that. But if we dont remember history, we will repeat it, I hear from the crowd. Thats is why we have museums of slavery, that display the shackles, torture devices, and plans of ships that were death boats. There is, just maybe an argument that statues of the enablers of misery are displayed in such museums, but even then, not without context.

History is not being lost by the removal of these statues, it is being made. Defenders of these statues are not the defenders of history but its enemies. They want the symbolism to remain in place, they want the respect of monsters to remain. Photos of the dismantling of these monuments to the lack of humanity that society has within it can go in our museums. Maybe a place can be found for the rubble that remains of them. History is not being lost, we still have people alive who heard the tales of horror, first hand from their grandparents. Do the "defenders" of history clamor that an archive be created for their stories? I have yet to hear one such voice.
History is not being lost-----but at least statues in situ might influence some to at least research via a 'book', even if they never visit a museum?
There are statues of Queen Victoria in India ----the only remarks I have heard are about her small size--for the young it is an impetus to learn. (The massive Victoria memorial in Calcutta is visited by proportionally few.)
Then modern statues!!!!!!!
The massive hideous (my view) statue of unity in Gujarat of Sardar Patel (activist in independence.) Finished 2018. World tallest ---cost the earth --but some money being got back by tourist ticket sales.
Will it teach the young (once the cost issue is forgotten)? Or just a something to remember The PM who got it built.
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Old Jun 13th 2020, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Why do we need statues of anyone? Surely they just attract pidgeons and birds who use them as a toilet unless that is the whole object of having a statue.
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Old Jun 13th 2020, 9:13 pm
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Supposed to be to remember the 'great'.
OH's favourite!!!!!

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Old Jun 13th 2020, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
Why do we need statues of anyone? Surely they just attract pidgeons and birds who use them as a toilet unless that is the whole object of having a statue.
Yes this. Never really got why we celebrate people rather than ideas. keep the Shankly one though, that's different.
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Old Jun 13th 2020, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
Why do we need statues of anyone? Surely they just attract pigeons and birds who use them as a toilet unless that is the whole object of having a statue.
Tend to agree with this. Perhaps the time for statues is over for now. I don't mind statues from the 'ancient world' but have always found statues to the supposed ' good and great' rather a bore or perhaps I mean gratuitous.

The rumpus about the Baden Powell statue is one such bore. The thing was only put up this century and it's not even on Brownsea. Take the bluddy thing down and cart it away. It is meaningless . I would go along with these things being mothballed into museums.
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Old Jun 13th 2020, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

I suspect most people don't know who the statues are of, and know even less about why they are there, or what they represent.
Statues of Slave Traders does seem a step too far.

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Old Jun 14th 2020, 1:33 am
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Originally Posted by kimilseung View Post
Yes this. Never really got why we celebrate people rather than ideas. keep the Shankly one though, that's different.
As long as my non existent club gets to keep the one of the none existent SAF or the Holy Trinity. Shankly Gates and the Munich Clock get to stay as well as they are not statues.
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Old Jun 14th 2020, 4:09 am
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
As long as my non existent club gets to keep the one of the none existent SAF or the Holy Trinity. Shankly Gates and the Munich Clock get to stay as well as they are not statues.
Cant imagine anyone objecting to Charlton, Best, and Law. British legends them all. That Matt Busby one is fine too, I suppose its hard to object to SAF given that none of this exists anyway. (Although he looks like some early Victorian slave owner, with that stance and attire, I know its a zip up, but it looks like a cravat.)

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Old Jun 14th 2020, 11:05 am
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Originally Posted by Bipat View Post
History is not being lost-----but at least statues in situ might influence some to at least research via a 'book', even if they never visit a museum?
There are statues of Queen Victoria in India ----the only remarks I have heard are about her small size--for the young it is an impetus to learn. (The massive Victoria memorial in Calcutta is visited by proportionally few.)
Then modern statues!!!!!!!
The massive hideous (my view) statue of unity in Gujarat of Sardar Patel (activist in independence.) Finished 2018. World tallest ---cost the earth --but some money being got back by tourist ticket sales.
Will it teach the young (once the cost issue is forgotten)? Or just a something to remember The PM who got it built.
In Toronto, there’s a statue of Queen Victoria in an imposing setting in a park in the centre of the city. The plaque records that it was given to Toronto by a major Indian city after independence, maybe it was New Delhi. Anyway, I thought that was a nice gesture - “We don’t really want this any more, but perhaps you have a good place for it in your city.”
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Old Jun 14th 2020, 11:39 am
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Originally Posted by kimilseung View Post
"Its history" and "put it in a museum", are the new dog whistles.

The debate over objectionable statues has a standard defence, and it is nothing other than a dog whistle being blown by those seeing the fall of their privilege, but not ready to accept the fall from grace. That objects and settings grant respectability does not go unnoticed by them. It is a smart dog whistle too, as it enlists fellow travelers and more importantly useful idiots who see the words "history" and "museum" and despite many of them never having voluntarily visited a museum, think it a good thing, a noble thing, a thing that should always be supported. What we never hear is "put it in an anti-slavery museum", or "put it in an anti tyranny museum", not even a basic "put it in a slavery museum". Just the generic "museum". For some that is ignorance of what the purpose of museums is, other than, they must be a good thing (and most of the time they are) but for some it is the knowledge of the power that placement in a museum can confer, especially if it is just an object placed on a dais in a generic environment without context. That object can then be granted the respect and place of importance that often accompanies placement in such institutions.

What history is being lost? What history do these objects perpetuate? They celebrate the wealth and prestige that can be achieved by the sale, ownership, and accumulation of 100% of another humans surplus value. Do we wish to honor that, to further that, to continue that. But if we dont remember history, we will repeat it, I hear from the crowd. Thats is why we have museums of slavery, that display the shackles, torture devices, and plans of ships that were death boats. There is, just maybe an argument that statues of the enablers of misery are displayed in such museums, but even then, not without context.

History is not being lost by the removal of these statues, it is being made. Defenders of these statues are not the defenders of history but its enemies. They want the symbolism to remain in place, they want the respect of monsters to remain. Photos of the dismantling of these monuments to the lack of humanity that society has within it can go in our museums. Maybe a place can be found for the rubble that remains of them. History is not being lost, we still have people alive who heard the tales of horror, first hand from their grandparents. Do the "defenders" of history clamor that an archive be created for their stories? I have yet to hear one such voice.
I am not saying this to have a go at you - but this kind of all-or-nothing, you're-with-me-or-against-me thinking frightens me, and I feel it is as much a part of the problem in society today as anything.

You have on your own decided that anyone with a different perspective than you is engaging in a racist dog-whistle, because of some kind of fear of losing privilege and "not ready for a fall from grace." You have then de-humanised and ridiculed people you have never met or spoken to by assuming that those with a different view from you are "useful idiots" who must not have ever voluntarily visited a museum before.

Because what statues, exactly, are you referring to? Churchill? Gandhi? Tony Abbott? All have been vandalised and desecrated in these days. Because again the all-or-nothing assumption that all the statues being toppled must be of slave traders or what have you. Even the statue of Mandela had to be boarded up and protected - go on, make the argument about what's wrong with him and why he needs to come down too.

The world is full of nuance and gray areas.

There is room for respectful debate about what needs to come down and what needs to stand, and for what reasons, but that does not seem to be what is happening now.
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Old Jun 14th 2020, 1:38 pm
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
I am not saying this to have a go at you - but this kind of all-or-nothing, you're-with-me-or-against-me thinking frightens me, and I feel it is as much a part of the problem in society today as anything.

You have on your own decided that anyone with a different perspective than you is engaging in a racist dog-whistle, because of some kind of fear of losing privilege and "not ready for a fall from grace." You have then de-humanised and ridiculed people you have never met or spoken to by assuming that those with a different view from you are "useful idiots" who must not have ever voluntarily visited a museum before.

Because what statues, exactly, are you referring to? Churchill? Gandhi? Tony Abbott? All have been vandalised and desecrated in these days. Because again the all-or-nothing assumption that all the statues being toppled must be of slave traders or what have you. Even the statue of Mandela had to be boarded up and protected - go on, make the argument about what's wrong with him and why he needs to come down too.

The world is full of nuance and gray areas.

There is room for respectful debate about what needs to come down and what needs to stand, and for what reasons, but that does not seem to be what is happening now.
In the dichotomy, of dump it or put it in a museum, both parties agree on it's removal. The nuance of the whats and how's of the museum position, is one of the things I had noted an absence of when I presented my argument.
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Old Jun 14th 2020, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

I see your point; however I would argue there is some nuance in the dichotomy too. For instance: I am a Jew. I don't think there should be a Hitler statue in a public square in Braunau am Inn. If there was one, and it was taken down and moved to Muzeum Treblinka - that changes the entire context of it, and how it is viewed.



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Old Jun 14th 2020, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
I see your point; however I would argue there is some nuance in the dichotomy too. For instance: I am a Jew. I don't think there should be a Hitler statue in a public square in Braunau am Inn. If there was one, and it was taken down and moved to Muzeum Treblinka - that changes the entire context of it, and how it is viewed.
Also many of the statues represent people who are both 'bad' and 'good'. The slave traders who spent the money made from trading doing good work for people in UK cities.
Churchill a hero in that he saved the UK in WW2 , but was certainly 'racist' and committed atrocities in other countries in his younger days. Gandhi who in his younger days obviously cared for 'brown' people but did not think it his 'duty' to care for 'black' people. Hero Churchill who certainly insulted Hero Gandhi!!
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Old Jun 14th 2020, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: We need to preserve history, Lets put these statues in a museum

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
I see your point; however I would argue there is some nuance in the dichotomy too. For instance: I am a Jew. I don't think there should be a Hitler statue in a public square in Braunau am Inn. If there was one, and it was taken down and moved to Muzeum Treblinka - that changes the entire context of it, and how it is viewed.
Absolutely, the context within the museum, which museum, what it is juxtapositioned with, is very important. I said this already in the OP.. These points or their absence was what I noted and was complaining about.
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