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Dealing With The Commemorative Legacy Of The Past

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Chapter Summary

Discussing key examples as case studies, this chapter examines new challenges affecting symbolic markers representing the old guard and how the latter have been adapted to the needs of a new socio-political order. It traces the fate of specific contested monuments and engage with the processes and discourses that shaped the remoulding of their meaning and sometimes their physical appearance. The chapter is structured along the lines of the different options that present themselves for dealing with contested heritage, which can broadly be categorised as removal, relocation and re-interpretation. It argues that the effectiveness of re-interpretation in rendering a contested monument acceptable to the majority is often doubtful, and furthermore that the modification of the originally intended meaning in the name of political correctness is often unacceptable to the minority who identify with these markers. The obvious solution, then, is to build new monuments complementing existing heritage of the past.

Keywords: commemorative legacy; contested heritage; monument; past; re-interpretation; relocation; removal; socio-political order



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