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Socialist statuary as post-socialist hybrids: following the statues of Dr Petru Groza in Romania

Light, Duncan and Young, Craig (2011) Socialist statuary as post-socialist hybrids: following the statues of Dr Petru Groza in Romania. Journal of Historical Geography, 37 (4). pp. 493-501. ISSN 0305-7488

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Abstract

This paper is concerned with the post-socialist lives of Communist statues. While acknowledging that post-socialist transformation frequently involves searching for new identities based on the disavowal of the communist past and the de-communisation of cultural landscapes, the paper stresses the importance of exploring complex continuities from the state-socialist period. This is illustrated by a case study of the fates of three socialist-era statues of the Romanian Communist leader Dr Petru Groza which were erected in Bucharest, Deva and Băcia. The paper examines how these socialist-era statues have been de- and re-contextualised, translated and re-valued into ‘post-socialist hybrids.’ The analysis explores the complexities of the historical geographies of these statues after 1989, particularly the way that they continue to play a role in the shaping of identities, societies and politics.

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