Salazar Statue in Maputo's Library

Salazar Statue in Maputo


By Contested Histories Initiative

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 in 2002 is part of an eventful prior itinerary, charted below by drawing on various sources while acknowledging the presence… Read More


Fearless Girl Statue in New York


By Contested Histories Initiative

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 arose over the significance and suitability of its original positioning opposite Arturo Di Modica’s Charging Bull (1989). The statue also… Read More

Isted Lion Statue in Flensburg

Isted Lion in Flensburg


By Contested Histories Initiative

The Isted Lion, created to commemorate the Danish victory in the 1850 Battle of Isted, has been the subject of German-Danish debates about national and cultural identity in the historically contested Schleswig border region since it was first erected in 1862. This case study examines the journey of the statue… Read More


Leopold II Statue in Kinshasa

Democratic Republic of Congo

By Jade

In 1967, an equestrian statue of Belgian King Leopold II, the owner and absolute ruler of the Free State of Congo from 1886 to 1908, was taken down and discarded on the outskirts of Kinshasa, in today’s Democratic Republic of Congo, as part of President Mobutu’s postcolonial re-indigenising policy. In… Read More

Equestian Statue of Habib Bourgiba waving

Habib Bourguiba Statue in Tunis


By Jade

After 30 years since the statue of Tunisia’s first president Habib Bourguiba was removed, it returned to central Tunis in June 2016. The return of the statue was intended to be a grand gesture of patriotism, around which all Tunisian’s could unite. It became clear, however, that the move was… Read More

Torn down statue of Edward Colston being thrown into Bristol harbour by protestors

Monuments Matter

A Comment on Bristol

By Marie-Louise Jansen 8 June 2020

Yesterday, protestors in the English port city of Bristol toppled a statue of an 18th Century slave- trader, dragged the life-size bronze through the streets, and heaved it over a stone embankment into the Bristol harbour. Hundreds of Bristol residents looked on and cheered. (See appended link). The statue’s unauthorized… Read More

Bronze statue of soldier at Tallin Military Cemetary in Estonia

Bronze Soldier Statue in Tallinn


By Jade

In late April 2007, a series of violent street protests involving arson and looting erupted over plans to relocate a bronze statue of a Red Army soldier from a park in central Tallinn to a military cemetery on the outskirts of the city.  Known as the Bronze Nights, these protests… Read More

Statue of Lord Nelson with metal railings around it in Barbados

Admiral Horatio Nelson Statue in Bridgetown


By Contested Histories Initiative July 2021

Originally erected in 1813, the statue of British Colonial Admiral Horatio Nelson, enjoyed 206 years of undisturbed tenure in the centre of Bridgetown. However, in recent years Barbados has undergone a journey of renewing national identity and demarcating new heroes, causing Nelson to come under scrutiny. This case raises questions… Read More

Statue of Lenin extending his hand surrounded by busts of Lenin on the ground at Grūto parkas in Lithuania

Grūtas Sculpture Park in Druskininkai


By Contested Histories Initiative July 2021

The Grūtas Park was created to collect and display Soviet-era monuments that had been removed from public spaces following Lithuanian independence. This case study provides an example of an effective and alternate remedy to destruction or erasure of contested historical legacies, but also shows the political, social, and economic complexities… Read More

Statue of Mahatma Gandhi with staff in front of University of Ghana

University of Ghana Gandhi Statue in Accra


By Contested Histories Initiative July 2021

In June 2016, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was gifted to the University of Ghana in Accra, by the Indian President. Shortly after, staff and students at the University circulated a petition calling for the statue’s removal due to Gandhi’s racist writings on Africans. In 2018, two years after the… Read More

Full shot view of Christopher Columbus Statue in Parque Colón, taken from the street with plaque visible

Columbus Monument in Buenos Aires


By Contested Histories Initiative

The Monument to Christopher Columbus has caused great controversy as part of the heritage and historical memory of Argentina. Opinions were divided between his legacy as a discoverer of the ‘New World’ or as a ‘perpetrator of genocide.’ After several legal disputes, the monument is now located on the coast… Read More