Statues fascinate me, because I always imagine them standing there, all alone at night, and throughout the seasons. Snow falling on them. Nocturnal animals skittering past, unobserved by Man. People telling intimate secrets in their presence as dead leaves and candy wrappers accumulate at their feet. Often they depict history, and history continues to be made all around them. Life swirls and eddies past their immovable effigies. They witness much, these statues. What must that be like, ever-stationary as the world moves all around them? They keep their own counsel.
Some statues represent a history of oppression, hate, and death, and they depict people who should not be revered. Confederate statues represent people who committed treason in support of slavery. Ours is the only country that memorializes the losers of a domestic civil war. We need to shed ourselves of their dark shadows, and fortunately that is happening more and more. I was thrilled to see the statue of Robert E. Lee finally get taken down in Richmond, Virginia the other day, amongst cheers. We can and will still teach our children about one of our nation’s darkest eras, but we need to strip away the myth that this was a noble, romantic war fought for states’ rights by brave and honorable men with pure and ethical motives.
Around the world, there are millions upon millions of statues that gaze down upon us from more benign pedestals. They are statues of love and kindness and dignity. They are humorous and inspirational and nostalgic and not intended to oppress or trigger anyone. They, too, keep their own counsel, but I wish some of them could talk so they could share their fascinating perspectives with us.
Here are a few statues from around the world that I’ve seen thanks to my Pokemon Go App. Enjoy!
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