Memento Park and Skopje 2014
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Memento Park in Budapest, Hungary and Skopje 2014 in Skopje, Macedonia are two extensive reorganizations of public art and urban space that speak to the role of monuments as they are used to form cultural identity in the post-Socialist, former Eastern Bloc. Memento Park is a sculpture park on the outskirts of Budapest dating from 1993, where forty-two Socialist-era monuments from disparate locations have been gathered together and arranged into a new composition. Budapest’s quick removal of unwanted signs of the Socialist period matches the pace with which monuments were reconsidered in many cities in the region. In an exception to that immediate response, a renovation program called Skopje 2014 has overhauled the appearance of Skopje with more than forty new monuments between 2010 and 2014. A comparison of these sites reveals how monuments can be employed to create cultural memories in societies with uneasy relationships to the recent past.