Case Studies

To date, we have identified more than five hundred cases on five continents. Our Case Studies relate to a wide array of historical legacies, including colonialism, enslavement, racism, fascism, sectarianism, anti-semitism, communism, authoritarianism, sexual violence and others. To address these often contested legacies, decision-makers and other parties have chosen various remedies. This can take the form of complete removal of the monument, artistic intervention to alter the statue or increased signage for contextualisation.

Case Studies focus on the historical background, history of the contestation, the decision-making process and the remedy employed. Once our Researchers complete them, the Case Studies are internally reviewed by the Contested Histories Team before being sent out for external expert review by our Academic Committee before publication. They are revised when new developments relating to the case to give the most accurate and up-to-date overview possible.

Jean Baptiste Colbert Satue in Paris in France
#56

Jean Baptiste Colbert Statue in Paris

France

For many years, Jean-Baptiste Colbert was praised for his involvement in creating a strong French state. In recent years, however, this status has been called into question, notably concerning his inv… Read More

Jean Baptiste Colbert Statue in Paris

For many years, Jean-Baptiste Colbert was praised for his involvement in creating a strong French state. In recent years, however, this status has been called into question, notably concerning his inv… Read More
#85

Rodolfo Graziani Monument in Affile

Italy

A mausoleum inaugurated in August 2012 in the town of Affile, located in metropolitan Rome, has been subject to vandalism and protests by various anti-fascist groups. While the local right-wing mayor,… Read More

Rodolfo Graziani Monument in Affile

A mausoleum inaugurated in August 2012 in the town of Affile, located in metropolitan Rome, has been subject to vandalism and protests by various anti-fascist groups. While the local right-wing mayor,… Read More
#50

Columbus Lighthouse in Santo Domingo

Dominican Republic

The Columbus Lighthouse of Santo Domingo is an enormous mausoleum which is said to contain Christopher Columbus’ remains. The first plans to build a monument to Columbus date back to the mid-nineteent… Read More

Columbus Lighthouse in Santo Domingo

The Columbus Lighthouse of Santo Domingo is an enormous mausoleum which is said to contain Christopher Columbus’ remains. The first plans to build a monument to Columbus date back to the mid-nineteent… Read More
#36

João Maria Ferreira do Amaral Statue in Macau (SAR)

China

João Maria Ferreira do Amaral was the Portuguese Governor of Macau between 1846-1849, his commitment to formalizing Macau and Portugal’s colonial relationship, lead to his assassination by Chinese pea… Read More

João Maria Ferreira do Amaral Statue in Macau (SAR)

João Maria Ferreira do Amaral was the Portuguese Governor of Macau between 1846-1849, his commitment to formalizing Macau and Portugal’s colonial relationship, lead to his assassination by Chinese pea… Read More
#65

Carl Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg

Germany

The zoo Tierpark Hagenbeck in Hamburg, Germany, was founded in 1907 by Carl Hagenbeck, a trader of wild animals who was notable for his exhibitions of people of colour in Völkerschauen or ‘human zoos’… Read More

Carl Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg

The zoo Tierpark Hagenbeck in Hamburg, Germany, was founded in 1907 by Carl Hagenbeck, a trader of wild animals who was notable for his exhibitions of people of colour in Völkerschauen or ‘human zoos’… Read More
#104

The Marine Memorial in Swakopmund

Namibia

The Marine Denkmal (Marine Memorial) in Swakopmund, Namibia, commemorates the German imperial soldiers who fought against Indigenous Namibians in the Herero Wars (1904-1908). Amid fraught Namibian-Ger… Read More

The Marine Memorial in Swakopmund

The Marine Denkmal (Marine Memorial) in Swakopmund, Namibia, commemorates the German imperial soldiers who fought against Indigenous Namibians in the Herero Wars (1904-1908). Amid fraught Namibian-Ger… Read More
#514

Mussolini’s Birthplace in Predappio

Italy

The small Italian town of Predappio has developed a controversial reputation as a site of neo-fascist ‘pilgrimage’ by virtue of its historical affiliation with the fascist dictator, Benito… Read More

Mussolini’s Birthplace in Predappio

The small Italian town of Predappio has developed a controversial reputation as a site of neo-fascist ‘pilgrimage’ by virtue of its historical affiliation with the fascist dictator, Benito… Read More
#106

Mauritshuis in The Hague

Netherlands

The Mauritshuis bears the name of Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen (1604–1679), who commissioned its construction and was its first occupant. In early 2018, the Mauritshuis faced an intense but brief c… Read More

Mauritshuis in The Hague

The Mauritshuis bears the name of Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen (1604–1679), who commissioned its construction and was its first occupant. In early 2018, the Mauritshuis faced an intense but brief c… Read More
#329

Valongo Wharf in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil

Construction works in Rio de Janeiro’s Port Region to prepare for the 2014 World Cup, and 2016 Olympics led to the rediscovery of one of the most significant landing points in the Americas for an esti… Read More

Valongo Wharf in Rio de Janeiro

Construction works in Rio de Janeiro’s Port Region to prepare for the 2014 World Cup, and 2016 Olympics led to the rediscovery of one of the most significant landing points in the Americas for an esti… Read More
#49

I am Queen Mary Statue in Copenhagen

Denmark

In 2018, artists La Vaughn Belle and Jeannette Ehlers created the ‘I Am Queen Mary’ Statue. The monument honours Mary Thomas, one of the three female leaders of the 1878 ‘Fireburn’ Rebellion, a revolt… Read More

I am Queen Mary Statue in Copenhagen

In 2018, artists La Vaughn Belle and Jeannette Ehlers created the ‘I Am Queen Mary’ Statue. The monument honours Mary Thomas, one of the three female leaders of the 1878 ‘Fireburn’ Rebellion, a revolt… Read More
Mary Seacole Statue in front of St. Thomas Hospital in London
#174

Mary Seacole Statue in London, England

United Kingdom

The 2016 statue commemorating Mary Seacole at St. Thomas Hospital in London is the first statue in the United Kingdom dedicated to a named black woman. Mary Seacole is remembered for her involvement a… Read More

Mary Seacole Statue in London, England

The 2016 statue commemorating Mary Seacole at St. Thomas Hospital in London is the first statue in the United Kingdom dedicated to a named black woman. Mary Seacole is remembered for her involvement a… Read More
Manzanar Memorial with USA flag
#185

Manzanar Historic Site in California

USA

During World War II, the U.S. Government incarcerated thousands of Japanese Americans in so-called War Relocation Centres around the country. One of them was the Manzanar Relocation Center, which at i… Read More

Manzanar Historic Site in California

During World War II, the U.S. Government incarcerated thousands of Japanese Americans in so-called War Relocation Centres around the country. One of them was the Manzanar Relocation Center, which at i… Read More