Vandals plundering (source: Wikicommons)
Forgan Smith (building 1), The University of Queensland, St Lucia
Venue: Forgan Smith (building 1), The University of Queensland, St Lucia.

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Iconoclasts and Other Vandals in Ancient and Modern Times

Throughout history, statues have been torn down, destroyed, and defaced, temples and other buildings looted and smashed, painted images mutilated, covered over, or prised out of walls, and other iconic works of art hacked to pieces. Examples of such devastation include the mutilation of the statues of the pharaoh-queen Hatshepsut, the demolition of the Great Temples of Jerusalem, the widespread destruction of Classical art and architecture under Theodosius the Great, the blowing up of the giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan, the demolition of much of the ancient city of Palmyra, the bulldozing of the iconic Bellevue hotel in Brisbane, and more recently the vandalising and proposed tearing down of the statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia. The motives for such actions range from religious fundamentalism, to mindless vandalism, to greed, to alleged 'progress', to self-righteous political correctness, and to sheer ignorance and bigotry. All this holds dark warnings for our future.