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24. Vandalism As A Secular Iconoclasm

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents an bird's eye view of vandalism in history, beginning with the vandalism that occurred during the reign of the pharaohs in old Egypt and ending with the 'destruction of culture' during the First and Second World Wars. It analyses the phenomenon of vandalism sacred and profane as a form of 'Kulturzerstörung'. The chapter pays noticeable attention to what author calls Modernisierungsvandalismus in the nineteenth century. It argues that it is very difficult to construct a full picture of all that has been lost and sacrificed in the name of 'Progress' during the nineteenth-century period of Romanticism. The author shows how the criminal fight against culture is only the reverse side of a criminal culture. In this context he describes the destruction of the Summer Palace in Peking in 1860 by the English and bombarding of Strasbourg by the Germans in 1870.

Keywords: criminal culture; Iconoclasm; Kulturzerstörung; Modernisierungsvandalismus; Romanticism; vandalism



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