Monuments always seem extremely important at the time of their creation, but can be quickly outdated and forgotten, raising the question, should we let our cities and towns turn into tombstones of past events? These monuments are meant to be memory making, and yet some of the most prominent monuments bring back memories of oppression or former regimes that the nation no longer takes pride in. Many people would say that cities should not be turned into remembrances of past events, but instead should be left to modernize as they otherwise would. I would like to argue differently, although I agree that some monuments are no longer relevant, or even offensive, it is important to the state or country’s history to remember certain things, whether they be good or bad.
Even just before considering the events that the monuments are commemorating, it is worth mentioning the significance of architecture. Many of these historical monuments will have amazing architecture, and we can learn a lot just from that. By taking down monuments, we are taking down little pieces of the history of architecture, we in some ways can me monumental on its own. For example the Monumento Alla Vittoria is a monument celebrating fascism, but is also a monument that was revolutionary in its architecture. It was an arch without arches, and had many new features that had never been seen before in architecture. Although the monument was not created for reasons that are currently supported within Italy, the monument itself is beautiful and a piece of the country’s history.
History is another important piece of the argument to keep monuments, and why turning the city into a tombstones of past events may not be a terrible thing. Although certain monuments do not bring up the fondest memories, it is still important to remember parts of history. In some circumstances, I think that it is possible to modernize these tombstones to be less offensive and to fit more with the current times. A good example of this is once again the Monumento Alla Vittoria being revitalized and made into a monument that can be historically appreciated in the right way. We should not try to get rid of our history and forget our pasts, but instead remember the important times. There obviously should not be monuments for every little event that occurs, but for the big things, these monuments are very important to remember people and events.
While it seems like an easy argument to keep cities modern and not dwell in the past, it is also important to think about how central these monuments become to a nations identity. Would Paris be the same without the Arc de Triumph? Would New York be thought of as just a city of skyscrapers without the Statue of Liberty or the Freedom Tower? What about Italy? Is the Monumento Alla Vittoria an important part of the country? Monuments shouldn’t always be seen as tombstones, but rather backbones. The more monuments, the more things that we have to build up the history and personality of a nation.