Town Hall Seattle Civics Series
57min2022 JUN 2
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Hundreds of public monuments have come down during the social and racial reckoning currently sweeping our country. And while Seattle has not been at the epicenter of the furor over public monuments, there have been heated discussions over the monument to Confederate soldiers in a Capitol Hill cemetery and a statue of Vladimir Lenin in Fremont. In the United States, the issue of what to do with public monuments has been very polarizing. Why do we care so much about these statues? In her bookSmashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America’s Public Monuments, professor of art crime Erin L. Thompson looked at the turbulent history of American monuments and its abundant ironies — including the enslaved man who helped make the Statue ofFreedomthat tops the United States Capitol. Monuments have come to mean many things to different people, and the battles over them are a tangle of aesthetic, legal, political, and social issues. Ultimately, monuments symbolize what we value and keeping the...

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