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.

Curt von François Statue with military attire in windhoek
#246

Curt von François Statue in Windhoek

Namibia

Curt von François (1852-1931) was a German military officer and colonialist, most well known in Namibia for his role in the genocide of the Namaqua and Herero peoples. A statue of him was erected in 1… Read More

Curt von François Statue in Windhoek

Curt von François (1852-1931) was a German military officer and colonialist, most well known in Namibia for his role in the genocide of the Namaqua and Herero peoples. A statue of him was erected in 1… Read More
Salazar Statue in Maputo's Library
#321

Salazar Statue in Maputo

Mozambique

A life-sized bronze statue of Portuguese dictator António de Oliveira Salazar (b. 1889-1970) currently stands in the courtyard of the National Library in Maputo, Mozambique. Its move to this location… Read More

Salazar Statue in Maputo

A life-sized bronze statue of Portuguese dictator António de Oliveira Salazar (b. 1889-1970) currently stands in the courtyard of the National Library in Maputo, Mozambique. Its move to this location… Read More
Statue plint empty in Blantyre
#98

Gandhi Statue in Blantyre

Malawi

In 2018, a statue of Gandhi was proposed to be built in Blantyre, Malawi’s second-largest city. The Statue formed part of a USD 10 million investment from the Indian Government to construct a conventi… Read More

Gandhi Statue in Blantyre

In 2018, a statue of Gandhi was proposed to be built in Blantyre, Malawi’s second-largest city. The Statue formed part of a USD 10 million investment from the Indian Government to construct a conventi… Read More
Monument Victory Bolzano
#87

Victory Monument in Bolzano

Italy

The Victory Monument in Bolzano was erected on the orders of Benito Mussolini in 1928. Since then, it has been at the symbolic centre of ethnic clashes between the German- and Italian-speaking communi… Read More

Victory Monument in Bolzano

The Victory Monument in Bolzano was erected on the orders of Benito Mussolini in 1928. Since then, it has been at the symbolic centre of ethnic clashes between the German- and Italian-speaking communi… Read More
Statue Columbus
#143

Columbus Statue in Barcelona

Spain

The Columbus Monument in Barcelona, located at the intersection of the city’s port and the main street of Las Ramblas, was built during the Columbus-mania of the 19th century and was the largest monum… Read More

Columbus Statue in Barcelona

The Columbus Monument in Barcelona, located at the intersection of the city’s port and the main street of Las Ramblas, was built during the Columbus-mania of the 19th century and was the largest monum… Read More
Memorial Plaque Comfort Women Palisades
#226

Comfort Women Memorial in New Jersey

USA

A ‘Comfort Women’ Memorial was unveiled outside Palisades Public Library in New Jersey in 2010. The monument paid homage to the more than 200,000 South Korean women who were victims of sexual exploita… Read More

Comfort Women Memorial in New Jersey

A ‘Comfort Women’ Memorial was unveiled outside Palisades Public Library in New Jersey in 2010. The monument paid homage to the more than 200,000 South Korean women who were victims of sexual exploita… Read More
#217

Fearless Girl Statue in New York

USA

Kristen Visbal’s iconic Fearless Girl statue has been the subject of heated and ongoing contestation since its installation on New York’s Wall Street in 2017 and its subsequent relocation. Controversy… Read More

Fearless Girl Statue in New York

Kristen Visbal’s iconic Fearless Girl statue has been the subject of heated and ongoing contestation since its installation on New York’s Wall Street in 2017 and its subsequent relocation. Controversy… Read More
#129

Monument to Gratitude to the Soviet Army in Legnica

Poland

Soviet memorials have been the subject of removals in Poland since the 1980s, with the Monument of Gratitude to the Soviet Army have faced the same destiny. After 70 years of reminding locals of the c… Read More

Monument to Gratitude to the Soviet Army in Legnica

Soviet memorials have been the subject of removals in Poland since the 1980s, with the Monument of Gratitude to the Soviet Army have faced the same destiny. After 70 years of reminding locals of the c… Read More
Dr Karl Lueger monument in Vienna
#10

Dr Karl Leuger Ring Street in Vienna

Austria

In Vienna, over 160 streets bear the names of controversial historical figures. One of these streets, once called Dr-Karl-Leuger-Ring, was named after a prominent anti-Semitic agitator whose ideology… Read More

Dr Karl Leuger Ring Street in Vienna

In Vienna, over 160 streets bear the names of controversial historical figures. One of these streets, once called Dr-Karl-Leuger-Ring, was named after a prominent anti-Semitic agitator whose ideology… Read More
Colonel Nixo Statue in South Auckland
#116

Nixon Memorial in South Auckland

New Zealand

The Colonel Marmaduke George Nixon statue (‘Nixon memorial’) stands at the intersection of Mangere and Great South roads in Otahuhu, a suburb of South Auckland, New Zealand. A contentious figure in Ne… Read More

Nixon Memorial in South Auckland

The Colonel Marmaduke George Nixon statue (‘Nixon memorial’) stands at the intersection of Mangere and Great South roads in Otahuhu, a suburb of South Auckland, New Zealand. A contentious figure in Ne… Read More
King Leopold II equestrian monument in Brussels
#13

Leopold II Statue in Brussels

Belgium

The June 2020 global Black Lives Matter protests and the 60th anniversary of Congo’s independence on June 30th brought increased scrutiny of Belgium’s colonial past under the leadership of King… Read More

Leopold II Statue in Brussels

The June 2020 global Black Lives Matter protests and the 60th anniversary of Congo’s independence on June 30th brought increased scrutiny of Belgium’s colonial past under the leadership of King… Read More
Harvard University Widener Library
#181

Harvard’s Legacy of Slavery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

USA

In the past decade, Harvard University has taken great strides to acknowledge the legacy of slavery on campus. Slavery provided an impetus for the creation of resources at Harvard, and several enslave… Read More

Harvard’s Legacy of Slavery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

In the past decade, Harvard University has taken great strides to acknowledge the legacy of slavery on campus. Slavery provided an impetus for the creation of resources at Harvard, and several enslave… Read More