Memorials and state-sponsored history

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Using a range of international examples, this chapter identifies the role of memorials as a means for states to communicate with their publics. It discusses how interventions by different levels of government might pull against each other, creating complex or unexpected outcomes, and explores how memorials are received and used, which can be an extension of the contests they sometimes generate. It also considers how, despite the appearance of permanence, memorials might slip out of public attention as official priorities change, becoming architectural anachronisms that speak to forgotten histories, or how they can take on new meanings as their contexts and symbolic content are transformed. Ultimately it shows how the treatment and reception of memorials by governments and publics reveal the malleability and contingency of state-sponsored history.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of State-Sponsored History After 1945
EditorsBerber Bevernage, Nico Wouters
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-349-95306-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-95305-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Built environment
  • Commemoration
  • Memorials
  • Urban space

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