DEBATE: (Re)moving statues: should statues ever be removed when circumstances change?

Wednesday 27th March 2019 | 6-8pm | St Andrew’s in the Square, St Andrew’s Square, Glasgow, G1 5PP 

Statues are ubiquitous and often bypassed as unnoticed elements of the urban furniture. And yet statues are also, in their depiction and representation of real life people, highly symbolic. Often statues which represent people who are celebrated in their own era can become embarrassing or even offensive to the values of a future generation.

It is no coincidence – especially in an era of all-pervasive media and screens – that statues can even come to stand in for the people they depict with the toppling of statues of dictators as the preeminent symbol of revolution and therefore of the toppling of anachronistic ideologies. But statues are also objects and works of art in their own right, often created by highly skilled and revered artists. The removal or destruction of statues not only eradicates them as archival and art historical artefacts, it can symbolise the erasure of collective memory of historical events and past follies.

Join us for a lively debate on this fascinating topic looking in particular at statues in Glasgow.

Chair: Gerry Hassan, writer, commentator and Senior Research Fellow in contemporary Scottish history at the University of Dundee  
Councillor Graham Campbell
Professor Ray McKenzie, MA, Research Fellow, FoCI, Glasgow School of Art
Mélina Valdelievre, English teacher and campaigner
Jude Barber, Director, Collective Architecture