There is a long tradition of commemorating events and immortalising personalities by erecting outdoor structures for public exposure.
There are many definitions for the term “monument”. Today we tend to nominate all built structures that are considered important to national or international cultural heritage as monuments, and insist on their preservation and protection. But in this exhibition a narrower definition is employed, to include outdoor constructions erected to commemorate or remember a person or an event; outdoor columns, obelisks, figurative statues, memorials, such as those to commemorate wars, triumphal arches, and in a wider sense, historical inscriptions, fountains and mausoleums as well.
Although outdoor figurative statues have a long history in the West and in the ancient East, the first truly public statues in Arab and Ottoman lands appear only in the 19th century when, inspired by European examples, Isma‘il Pasha revived the tradition in Egypt.