This article explores two possible meanings of de(fence) as related to historical monuments and memorials. By interpreting this term as both defense (defending and idealizing the past) and de-fence (taking down fences and opening narratives about the past), we develop ways to understand potential social functions of monuments. Through the specific examples of the Lee Monument in Richmond, Virginia and Shoes on the Danube Bank in Budapest, Hungary, we describe how the ideas of defense and de-fence function. Further, this article also touches upon temporary interventions to monuments including graffiti and yarn bombing.


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