Not what a statue is
As an art historian who also has an undergraduate degree in English, I am going to be the grammar police here.
Both news coverage on television and in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette referred to the Ten Commandments monument several times as a “statue.” On live TV, Senator Jason Rapert stated that “a new statue has already been ordered.”
I realize dictionaries are scarce now, but most people have either a smartphone or computer. I invite you to Google “statue.” A statue is a three-dimensional representation of a human being, a mythical being, or an animal. It is free-standing, full-length (not a bust), and is not in relief, as is the monument.
The monument is a stele, “an upright stone or slab with a sculptured surface …” (Webster’s). Michelangelo’s David is a statue; the Code of Hammurabi and the Rosetta Stone are examples of steles (or stelae). The Ten Commandments monument is not a statue, it is a stele.
I cringe every time I hear or see this error. It is like calling a landscape a portrait. If you do not elect to use the word “stele” to describe it, please use the word monument. Either is correct.
LINDA HASTINGS BAKER