Empty spaces and the value of symbols: Estonia's 'war of monuments' from another angle

Burch, S. and Smith, D.J. (2007) Empty spaces and the value of symbols: Estonia's 'war of monuments' from another angle. Europe-Asia Studies, 59(6), pp. 913-936. (doi:10.1080/09668130701489139)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668130701489139

Abstract

Taking as its point of departure the recent heightened discussion surrounding publicly sited monuments in Estonia, this article investigates the issue from the perspective of the country's eastern border city of Narva, focusing especially upon the restoration in 2000 of a 'Swedish Lion' monument to mark the 300th anniversary of Sweden's victory over Russia at the first Battle of Narva. This commemoration is characterised here as a successful local negotiation of a potentially divisive past, as are subsequent commemorations of the Russian conquest of Narva in 1704. A recent proposal to erect a statue of Peter the Great in the city, however, briefly threatened to open a new front in Estonia's ongoing 'war of monuments'. Through a discussion of these episodes, the article seeks to link the Narva case to broader conceptual issues of identity politics, nationalism and post-communist transition.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor David
Authors: Burch, S., and Smith, D.J.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Europe-Asia Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:0966-8136
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2007 Routledge
First Published:First published in Europe-Asia Studies 59(6):913-936
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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