Removal

Japanese Memorial Cenotaph in Alor Setar Malaysia
#446

Japanese War Memorial in Alor Setar

Malaysia

By Contested Histories Initiative

In 1941, Japan occupied Malaysia in the context of World War II. That same year, they built a stone monument in Alor Setar to honour three Japanese soldiers who were killed while securing the city’s bridge to cut off Allied troops. The restoration of the memorial in 2019, officiated by… Read More

Brotherhood in Arms Monument in Warsaw
#127

Brotherhood in Arms Monument in Warsaw

Poland

By Contested Histories Initiative

The Brotherhood in Arms monument was the first post-Second World War monument placed in Warsaw in Vilnius Square. The public contestation of the monument began after Poland gained independence in 1989, although grievances against it might have been aired within opposition circles in prior years, too. After the exit of… Read More

Filipina Comforto Women Statue in Manila
#124

Filipina Comfort Women in Manila

Philippines

By Contested Histories Initiative

Filipina Comfort Women was a statue erected on 8 December 2017 along Baywalk, Roxas Boulevard, in Manila. The contestation began days after the statue’s installation with a request for background information by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication Seiko Noda later regretted the… Read More

Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, USA
#194

Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia

USA

By Contested Histories Initiative

In the years after the Confederate States of America (often referred to as the ‘Confederacy’) lost the American Civil War in 1865, several groups established memorials to Confederate leaders across the South. Five Confederate statues were erected on Monument Avenue in Richmond, once the capital of the Confederacy and the… Read More

#36

João Maria Ferreira do Amaral Statue in Macau (SAR)

China

By Contested Histories Initiative

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 peasants. He became emblematic of the ambiguous colonial relationship between the two countries, leading to his statue being removed during the decolonization… Read More

de Lessep Statue in Suez Canal
#37

De Lesseps Statue in Port Said

Egypt

By Contested Histories Initiative

In 1899, a statue of the engineer of the Suez Canal, Ferdinand De Lesseps, was erected at its northern entrance, where it stood until 1956 when it was moved into a warehouse. In 2014 an announcement that the statue would be reinstalled sparked controversy due to De Lesseps’s colonial legacy… Read More

Curt von François Statue with military attire in windhoek
#246

Curt von François Statue in Windhoek

Namibia

By Contested Histories Initiative

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 1965 in Windhoek, Namibia, to mark the 75th anniversary of his supposed ‘founding’ of the… Read More

After being torn down by protestors, the Minnesota Christopher Columbus statue is loaded up to be driven away

Who will deal with the real issues once the statues are out of sight?

By Steven Stegers & Marie-Louise Jansen 11 June 2020

This week, activists in Europe and the United States attacked statues of historical figures because they are seen as colonialists, imperialists, slave-traders, and racists. Will these symbolic acts result in the structural and systematic changes that are needed?  Steven Stegers, Marie-Louise Ryback-Jansen, 10 June 2020, The Hague/Berlin A monumental movement… Read More

Torn down statue of Edward Colston being thrown into Bristol harbour by protestors
#173

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

Frank Rizzo Statue at Philadelphia's Municipal Services Building
#192

Monuments Matter

A Comment on Philadelphia

By Marie-Louise Jansen 2 June 2020

A day after this blog post was originally published, the statue was removed. For details see local news report at NBC Philadelphia.  During this past weekend , the city of Philadelphia, like dozens of cities across America, erupted in mass protests in response to the murder of George Floyd, an… Read More

Stolpersteine dedicated to the Goldstein and Helbing families
#63

Stumbling Stones in Munich

Germany

By Contested Histories Initiative

Stolpersteine or ‘stumbling stones’ are components of a project initiated by German artist Gunter Demnig in 1996 to commemorate victims of the Holocaust. The memorials, in the form of cobblestones installed in public streets, now number in the tens of thousands across Europe and beyond. However, they have also been… Read More