Damnatio Memoriae: Why Mobs Pull Down Statues
For hours the TV cameras played on the efforts to topple the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad's Al-Fardos ("Paradise") Square last week, and we all watched, fascinated. It seemed an epochal event. What is it about a dead and really poor statue -- a boring one indeed -- that rouses such personal antipathy? And why did we who were not there stay so gripped throughout the whole business?
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More About This Work
- Academic Units
- Art History and Archaeology
- Published Here
- April 8, 2010
Published in the Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2003. This essay is available in "Iconoclasm" by David A. Freedberg, The University of Chicago Press, Fall 2020.