Keith Lowe on the trouble with historical monuments

In this talk first delivered in July 2020, historian Keith Lowe takes a look at some of our most provocative Second World War monuments

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Monuments are put up to reflect the values of society. But what happens when those values change over time? Should we keep outdated monuments as reminders of the people we once were? Or should we take them down and replace them with new monuments to reflect the values that are important to us today?

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In this talk, historian Keith Lowe takes a look at some of our most provocative Second World War monuments, and explore the lessons we can learn from the controversies that they have caused. Some of these monuments have been torn down; some have caused diplomatic incidents between nations; but all of them say something important about our communal history, and who we think we are.

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At a time when a new wave of iconoclasm is sweeping the world, Lowe will compare these past controversies with the recent protests about monuments to slave owners and colonialists. Can we acknowledge the concerns of the present without erasing the legacies of the past?