War of demolishers
An iconoclastic tide floods Europe in the wake of racial protests from the United States. What is happening to our monuments? Where can we look for inspiration? The battleground is the very identity of the Western world.
Part II
This is an alarm addressed to everyone's conscience.
The American-imported racial protests that are devastating Europe unfortunately go far beyond the legitimate request of a possible 'update' of the descriptions and plaques of statues and monuments, in order to increase their didactic function.
The method is unacceptable: deliberately outside of any democratic process, a faction attacks, vandalizes and demolishes numerous monuments, demanding (and obtaining) their removal with street violence, arrogating for itself public rights which are inherent to the cultural heritage of the whole West.
They justify themselves. They develop theories. They blabber of "racist monuments", of the legitimacy and naturalness of iconoclasm, of the inevitable cyclical nature of destruction. They fill their mouths up, their trombones, with words like freedom, equality and democracy, in the "search for new figures to celebrate", fighting theRacism™, thePatriarchy™, theWhiteness™, etc.
Monument (from the Latin monumentum) implies above all 'warning', 'remembrance'. A starting point for reflection. A starting point, because it obviously cannot convey all possible and imaginable information on its history.
Selecting (in bad faith) the slaver past of this or that character, to start a fascist operation of clean-up, revisionism, militarization and politicization of the approach to Cultural Heritage and public sphere, introducing, among other things, ethno-racial issues - that's it - is unacceptable. Inadmissible.

«Removing statues is convenient for the colonizers, not for the colonized ones.»


joseph noel sylvestre sacco di roma
As One with the gift of synthesis said, «Removing the statues [to begin with, of course] is convenient for the colonizers, not for the colonized ones».
The Black Blocks of ancient tradition, after years and years of infiltrating the Left's marches on behalf of third parties to sabotage them, have been rebranded into Antifa - for whites - and Black Lives Matter, for blacks. And now an attempt is being made to inject the typical racial conflict of the United States into Europe (is this the famous United States of Europe they talk about?), instrumentally and purposely infecting the terrain of Cultural Heritage.
The undeclared goal, I say this bluntly, is the overthrow of Western Culture. If - and I say if - the goal had been different, this errr... "movement" would have taken a democratic path aimed at adding didactic value to Heritage, not canceling it in an attempt to solve a puerile mass Oedipal complex.
It should be noted that the topics, the behaviors, in short, the agenda, are the same everywhere. So it is reasonable to assume that it is not as they say, that "racist monuments make some people uncomfortable", but that there is a real systematic hunt for the symbol, an inquisitorial campaign of the politically correct. How long to book bonfires and raids in libraries and private homes?
For some time now the dismantling of the teaching of Art History has been underway, and ignorance is fertile ground for this iconoclastic and inquisitive ideology, thanks to the retrograde motion of the downward homologation typical of global garbage - in a trivialization of historical heritage, and constant racialization of the American Dream.
Small thinking: the Monument serves to warn and reflect on yourself, but there is someone who does not tolerate the warning and is not capable of a critical reflection. So, in this childish and petulant immaturity, they purport to mutilate or remove the monument because the world has to revolve around them and their views. So by removing warnings and reflections, the outrage is also removed.
But to disdain a monument, it means that it was doing its job, demonstrating by exclusion that the problem does not lie in the Monument itself but in certain... hollow heads: unable to sustain the discomfort of the contradictions of History and elaborate it in an historical and artistic consciousness, they project their frustration into the banal violent act of destruction, the cathartic apotheosis of a subconscious perception of self-inadequacy. Ready to forget and repeat again the horrors of History.
I had already written a few lines on the political significance of Architecture  and how it is superimposed on the physical object as a superstructure, how it changes through time and how the object in question —if treated properly— goes through all these stages of interpretation while maintaining, variegating or expanding its cultural message. .
Therefore it is necessary to spread the Sensitivity towards Beauty as much as possible, together with the Strength to drag History on one's own shoulders, with pride, without shame but with critical sense.
I have set up a nice library of various past and present vandalisms (which I had saved offline, smelling a future usefulness), to show that although these guys are shrouded with noble and untouchable reasons, they are nothing more than an ordinary ISIS.
Then I juxtapose excerpts from two masterpieces and milestones in the discipline of Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage: «War on Demolishers!» by Victor Hugo, and «The Seven Lamps of Architecture», by John Ruskin.
You will see how already 150 years ago the claims of these new Vandals of Alaric were faced and solved by the rising sensitivity around the Cultural Heritage, which is what we must recover. And you will certainly notice similarities between many behaviors and arguments today and those described by Hugo. Nothing new under the sun.
The terrain is fatal, as Sun-Tzu would say, because the identities of populations and civilizations are at stake here. Contrasting barbarism with Humanism, the word is this.
Let's take a little look in Pandora's box:

Back then in 2017...

Defaced statue of Columbus - USA
Knocking off a Confederate statue - USA

A.D. 2020 The arrival of the Vandals

vandali di alarico incisione
The statue of E. Colston, artistocratic, philanthropist and enslaver, is tired down - UK
The statue of E.Colston is being thrown in river Avon - UK
(Comment by Verhofstadt, just not to miss a thing)
A statue of Leopold II removed after defacing - BE
Another statue of Columbus tired down - USA
Defaced King Vittorio Emanuele II, Turin, Civic Palace - IT
Vandalized votive niche in the surroundings of Santa Maria Novella church, Florence - IT
«Churchill the racist» - UK
And so on. There is all sort of things up here! Oh well, let's play it down: while waiting for a statue of Greta made of compacted CO2, we could try with one of Ronald MacDonald (famous for feeding the young environmentalists at Fridays For Future) what do you think? And all this aversion to Columbo(1) ? Could it be the stinky cigar...? But even the inflatable men aren't bad, are they?

Now, among these three proposals there is a very serious one: I'm not kidding, it's a real proposal from our pickaxe-friends. Which will it be?
«Monuments should mirror our culture!»
statue ronald mac donald
«Columbo (1) was a genocidal slaver!!1!»
«Say, we can use these until we find a new hero, uh?»
air dancers
 (1) Pun. In Italian Columbus = Columbo = Colombo
And this was just a taste of what is happening everywhere in the West! The Overton Window is open. The alarm clock is ringing: are you traumatized for good? Have you left indifference and sloth behind you? Great start on the path of awareness.
The enormity and certain persistence of this new battleground —technically imposed by the global agenda— will force us to return often to the subject and therefore, given the vastness and in a certain sense heaviness of the issue, we accompany to the description of the problem a small piece of solution, that refreshes and reinvigorates the soul. And comes now.

Deep breath, and now let's leave room for the Masters (bolds are mine).

from Victor Hugo, «War on the demolishers!»

[ENG] - [FR]
[...] The moment has come when it is no longer permissible for anyone to keep silent.. [...]
[...] Every day many old memories of France are lost with the stone on which they were written. Every day we destroy some page of the venerable book of tradition. And soon, when the ruin of all these ruins has been achieved, there will remain nothing more for us to do than to cry with that Trojan, though at the least he rescued his gods:Fuit Ilium, et ingens gloria!
One should read this letter and one should consider, in reading it, that the deed attested therein is not an isolated deed but one of a thousand episodes of the greater general deed—the continuous and incessant demolition of all of the monuments of old France.

Charleville, February 14th 1832—

[...] Similar stories abound, rich with such deeds. And at first blush, doesn’t he reveal an excellent farce? You can imagine for yourself ten or twelve municipal councillors deliberating [...]. See them all there, doubtless arrayed in a circle and sitting on the table, legs crossed and babouches on their feet in the Turkish fashion. [...] Listen to them. Good reasons rain down. One raises feudalism as their topic and they all take it up. Another raises the tithes paid to lords; another, the unpaid labors performed for the king; another, the serfs who battled the water of the ditches to silence the frogs; a fifth, the right of the first night; a sixth, those infernal priests and those infernal noblemen; another, the horrors of Saint-Barthélemy; another (who is probably a lawyer) the Jesuits—then this, then that, then this and that again, and then all has been said and the tower of Louis d’Outremer is condemned.
You can imagine for yourselves the situation of this poor man, this sole representative of science, of art, of taste, and of history, in the middle of this grotesque Sanhedrin. Can you see the humbled, stifled spirit of this pariah? Can you hear as he risks a few timid words in favor of this venerable monument? And can you see the rage that erupts against him? That poor man there who folds in the face of such invectives. See what, from all sides, is denounced as Carlism, and probably even Carlist apologism. What is there to say in response? It is finished. The deed is done. The demolition of a “monument of the barbaric ages” is resoundingly and enthusiastically approved, and you hear the “hurrah!” of the brave municipal councillors of Laon who have made their assault on the tower of Louis d’Outremer.

[...] In Paris, Vandalism flourishes and prospers under our very gaze. Vandalism is an architect. Vandalism settles in and luxuriates. Vandalism is feted, applauded, encouraged, admired, entertained, protected, consulted, subsidized, paid for, naturalized. Vandalism is the public works commissioner for the government account. He has slyly installed himself in the budget and he nibbles quietly at it, like a rat does his cheese. And of course he makes good money. Every day he demolishes something of the little that remains to us of that admirable old Paris [...]

[...] Vandalism has his newspapers, his coteries, his schools, his pulpits, his public, his truths. Vandalism has the bourgeoisie on his side. He is well-fed, well-funded, swollen with pride, almost wise, ever so traditional, a good logician, a strong theoretician, happy, powerful, attendant to his needs, well-spoken, and content with himself. He goes about like Maecenas. He protects young talents. He is a professor. He awards the great prizes of architecture. [...] You must meet him.

[...] A church is fanaticism; a dungeon is feudalism. One denounces a monument, one massacres a pile of stones, one Septemberizes the ruins. [...]

[...] Now, during this complete rebirth of art and of criticism, the case of architecture from the Middle Ages—which was pleaded seriously for the first time three centuries ago—has triumphed alongside the triumph of other good causes; it has triumphed for the same reasons as science, triumphed for the same reasons as history, triumphed for the same reasons as art, it has triumphed by intellect, by imagination, and by heart. We needn’t return therefore to what is judged to be good and what is judged to be bad, but instead say forcefully to the government, to the communes, and to individuals that they are responsible for all the national monuments that fate has left in their hands. We must account for the past in the future.
Posteri, posteri, vestra res agitur.
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 from John Ruskin «The Seven Lamps of Architecture»

The Lamp of Memory - II -
[...] And if indeed there be any profit in our knowledge of the past, or any joy in the thought of being remembered hereafter, which can give strength to present exertion, or patience to present endurance, there are two duties respecting national architecture whose importance it is impossible to overrate; the first, to render the architecture of the day historical;and, the second, to preserve, as the most precious of inheritances, that of past ages.
The Lamp of Memory - IX -
[...] God has lent us the earth for our life; it is a great entail. It belongs as much to those who are to come after us, and whose names are already written in the book of creation, as to us; and we have no right, by anything that we do or neglect, to involve them in unnecessary penalties, or deprive them of benefits which it was in our power to bequeath. And this the more, because it is one of the appointed conditions of the labor of men that, in proportion to the time between the seed-sowing and the harvest, is the fulness of the fruit [...].
The Lamp of Memory - X -
[...] For, indeed, the greatest glory of a building is not in its stones, or in its gold. Its glory is in its Age, and in that deep sense of voicefulness, of stern watching, of mysterious sympathy,nay, even of approval or condemnation, which we feel in walls that have long been washed by the passing waves of humanity. It is in their lasting witness against men, in their quiet contrast with the transitional character of all things, in the strength which, through the lapse of seasons and times, and the decline and birth of dynasties, and the changing of the face of the earth, and of the limits of the sea, maintains its sculptured shapeliness for a time insuperable, connects forgotten and following ages with each other, and half constitutes the identity, as it concentrates the sympathy, of nations.
The Lamp of Obedience - I -
[...] how false is the conception, how frantic the pursuit, of that treacherous phantom which men call Liberty; most treacherous, indeed, of all phantoms; for the feeblest ray of reason might surely showus, that not only its attainment, but its being, was impossible. There is no such thing in the universe. There can never be. The stars have it not; the earth has it not; the sea has it not; and we men have the mockery and semblance of it only for our heaviest punishment.
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Posted: 15/06/2020 08:25 — Author(s): Polemicarc


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