DOMINIC GREEN: The war of the statues is a battle for freedom. “Statues, like all monumental architecture, are visible symbols of a political order. This is why their identity and placement matter so much. This is why revolutions begin by attacking symbols: the Virgin and Child, the Bastille, Lenin, Saddam. And this is why pulling down a monument is always a mere prelude to the real action. The iconoclast never stops there. He is clearing the ground for building a new order, as the Taliban smashed the Bamiyan Buddhas and Isis blew up ancient Palmyra.”
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