When a nation has sculptures of individuals that no longer mirror its qualities, what is the best arrangement? Is there a method of tending to the past without eradicating it? What’s more, is doing nothing an alternative? The BBC’s Kavita Puri addresses four individuals about potential exercises to be drawn from Iraq, Germany, India and the US.

It was a delightful spring day in East Baghdad in April, 2003 and Ghaith Abdul-Ahad’s neighbor came to him yelling, “The Americans are here.” Abdul-Ahad went out into the road. He saw US officers in uniform pointing their firearms. They were moving towards what was then known as Firdos Square, in the center of which was a gigantic sculpture of Iraq’s President, Saddam Hussein, his correct arm extended into the sky, waving to his kin.

A horde of Iraqis had now accumulated in the square. “It turned out to be evident that the city had fallen,” Abdul-Ahad says. Iraqi regular citizens moved towards the base of the sculpture. They attempted to thump down the thick, solid platform, however without much of any result. At that point an American shielded vehicle showed up. A marine got out and put a colossal rope around the sculpture. He moved to the head of Saddam’s head, holding an American banner. Abdul-Ahad was viewing the marine as he attempted to put the banner, thinking, “No don’t do that.”

Picture copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The sculpture was pulled somewhere around the group. It was hauled through the road. What’s more, the notorious picture was then caught of men, taking their flip flounders off, and utilizing them to beat the sculpture of their previous ruler. They were “simply breaking that control of the system,” Abdul-Ahad says.

Baghdad’s numerous sculptures of the nation’s chief had been an image of persecution, “the eyes and mustache of Saddam tailing you any place you go” he says. The day they fell “was the occasion, you understand that 30 years of abusive standard has at last crumpled, that this individual who had been overwhelming our lives – he was greater than God for us – is at long last gone and he’s evacuated.”


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