Recent years have seen a spate of statue removals from the toppling of Confederate statues in the United States, the tearing down of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol and recently the removal of statues of Queen Victoria in Canada. Some have been taken down in an orderly manner and others torn down or defaced by activists. For some, the removal of statues is a powerful symbol of the desire for social justice and for remembering the wrongs of the past. For others, the removal of monuments is an attempt to erase history. It is certainly a subject that evokes very strong feelings.
The historian Alex von Tunzelmann is today's guest on the podcast. She is the perfect person to help unpick this emotive topic having just written a book on the subject called Fallen Idols: Twelve Statues That Made History. Dan and Alex discuss how and why statues are erected in the first place; how this is far from a new phenomenon; how, perhaps, we should deal with controversial statues and whether statues have had their day?