Vergangenheitsbewältigung (2)

Liane Lang, an artist who has spent her entire career thinking about and making work based on public statuary, wanted to post the following Comment on my post, but I think it deserves more than that so am posting it with her permission:-

I have been thinking about these colonial men on display across Britain and lots of people have asked me what I think should be done to/with them. It occurred to me that there is a lot of momentum right now and perhaps it should be used to campaign for a museum of colonial history. It would be a fitting place to line up the great beneficiaries of Empire in the context of well researched and documented displays on slavery, commercial exploitation and the continued prevalence of white supremacist views. It would be an amazing institution for London to have and perhaps could be sold to the conservative section by way of its gainful existence as a major tourist attraction. Think of Budapest’s Memento Park or Terror Haza or the Jewish Museum in Berlin of course, all major projects in aid of Vergangenheitsbewältigung. A museum of colonial history might be an alternative to having the ethnographic collection hidden in the basement of the British Museum. If a museum is too ambitious, perhaps we go all the way of Memento Park and bung Colston and co in a muddy field outside Slough playing ‘There’ll always being an England’ on a squeaky tannoy…

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