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Following on from King Alfreds severed arm
#1
http://bajrblog.wordpress.com/2008/01/06...r-stories/

I wrote and collected this piece about cultural vandalism of statues. Had to stop as I was getting too angry!

Blowing up the Little Mermaid! Destruction on the Buddhas in Bamiyan! AND BREATHE! Sad

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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#2
Both Nye Bevan and David Lloyd George in Cardiff regularly sport traffic cones - I have to say, while showing a shocking disrespect for two of Wales' finest political sons, the traffic cone is sort of apt for Lloyd George, who was known as the Welsh Wizard. Not that I condone this type of thing, of course.
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#3
Hi boss,

As this is the second thread on this topic and given that my comments on the other thread were somewhat flippant I thought that I should take the topic a little more seriously. Firstly, why has the amputation of the hand of a statue of King Alfred in Wantage raised your ire so much? A Google search of vandalised statues gave me 213,000 results, what was it about this one that got you so annoyed? Gagumph (great name)notes that drunken vandalism is one of the few recreational activities to be indulged in within the environs of Wantage, a few months ago I priced up an eval in Wantage and while waiting for the bus back to Oxford, apart from going to the pub, the only thing I could find to do was perusing the second hand book shelves in Help the Aged. So, some acts of vandalism such as the Wantage amputation appear to be the result of bugger all else to do. Other acts of vandalism, based on the links supplied in your post, against the Little Mermaid and the Buddhas in Bamiyan appear to be politically motivated; an entirely different order of vandalism and depending on your political point of view justified or not. A few years ago the head of Winston Churchill's statue in Trafalgar Square was bewigged with a mohawk of green turf and the statue of Arthur 'bomber' Harris is regularly daubed with red paint. In antiquity many Roman statues were defaced as acts of political defiance against the state and the Egyptians removed the faces from pharaohs statues as well as removing hieroglyphs lauding their achievements in an attempt to obliterate the history of their politically undesirable predecessors. Pompeii has revealed political and personal graffiti on walls of many buildings, and the stone walls of Skara Brae were graffitied by Vikings; an act of wanton vandalism or an act of cultural significance worthy of study by archaeologists and historians, it all depends on your point of view. In the 21st century tagging tube trains is the work of antisocial elements within our present society while the work of graffiti artist Banksy when sprayed in the right place can be displayed in the Tate Modern and sold for a six figure sum while a similar level of artistic endeavour if sprayed on a historic monument would be condemned out of hand as vandalism of the worst order. Maybe we should stand back and think about the reasons why vandalism occurs and its cultural significance rather than indulging in knee jerk reactions based on the actions of bored drunken idiots in small market towns in South Oxfordshire.

Sorry for the rant boss, this one kinda got to me.

Oz
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#4
Ah... my ire was raised by the path it led me.. from traffic cones on heads.. (mild amusement) through crowbar damage of the Little Mermaid Statue through to Blowing up Buddhas over 4 days, an act that shocked the world.

It is not so much the single act of breaking the arm, it is what it represents, from smashing gravestones to cultrural vandalism.

but I'm better now!

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
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#5
In response to Austin Ainsworth -

Acts of vandalism can be viewed on two levels simultaneously, and both can be entirely valid.

The act itself may be an intrinsically 'bad thing'. How bad may vary from case to case, depending on what is vandalised, on how destructive and/or irreversible the damage is, and (in some circumstances) on the motivation for the act.

That does not stop the act from being sociologically/ historically/ archaeologically interesting. If I were an Egyptologist, for instance, I might be angered by ancient vandalism to hieroglyphs etc (both because it damaged something beautiful and because it destroyed useful evidence), but at the same time interested in why it happened.

The individual case that most infuriated me was the painting of graffiti on the megalithic temples at Mnajdra in Malta, but I can see why a sociologist might be as interested in the vandal's motivation as they were disgusted by the act. There could also be an interesting debate about whether the Maltese government's reaction (protect the site by putting large chain-link fences all around, very close to the stones) is actually a worse piece of vandalism in itself.

1man1desk

to let, fully furnished
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#6
1man,

good points, I can't disagree with any of them.

The act of cultural vandalism which annoys me most was the US destruction of part of the site of The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. For once I found myself glad that the majority of the Ishtar Gate is safe in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Although when I think about that the removal of the Ishtar Gate to Berlin was itself a stunning example of imperialist theft and vandalism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1391000,00.html
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#7
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Austin Ainsworth

1man,

good points, I can't disagree with any of them.

The act of cultural vandalism which annoys me most was the US destruction of part of the site of The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. For once I found myself glad that the majority of the Ishtar Gate is safe in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Although when I think about that the removal of the Ishtar Gate to Berlin was itself a stunning example of imperialist theft and vandalism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1391000,00.html

Hi All
Sometimes it is the placing of the statue that is the cultural vandalism, have a look at this obscenity that now adorns the main street in Bridgwater

http://www.bridgwatercarnival.org.uk/new...museum.php

Although it does appear to make a fine swing for late night revellers.

Oh and Hi Oz hope your doing well

Steven
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#8
Hi Steve,

All's going well, hope it is for you as well.

Here's a completely pointless "art" installation in Headington, Oxford that vandalises the skyline.

http://www.nothingtoseehere.net/2006/07/...xford.html
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#9
ps... I hope you all know about this one

http://bajrblog.wordpress.com/2008/01/03...chaeology/



"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
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#10
thanks boss,

a fantastic site, is anybody looking at typology and chronology? A fascinating slant on contemporary archaeology.
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