Towards the end of his reign, Tuthmosis III of Egypt ordered the destruction of all the public monuments to his aunt, Hatshepsut, the former leader of Egypt. It wasn’t the first instance of iconoclasm that the world had seen, but it has become one of the most memorable.
Iconoclasm — the deliberate destruction of images — has existed almost as long as man has walked the earth. When it took place, there were usually deep and profound reasons for these planned destructions. Rulers sought to erase the memory of their rivals.
Leaders like Leo III of the Byzantine Empire believed chopping statues was a good way to get God on their side at the next battlefield. Sometimes, images were destroyed simply because it was believed icons needed to be smashed since they represented an evil to be defeated. Such was the motivation for Protestant sects who destroyed Catholic statues in the Netherlands and Muslim populations who destroyed Christian icons in the Middle East and Africa.
Original Source: By Nathan Stone The Federalist