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A look at the memorials push

By johnboy - 3 June 2011 13

memorials

Inside Story has a forensic examination on the campaign for vast memorials to the 20th century’s world wars on Rond Terrace.

Despite the status of the Australian War Memorial, some retired military officers decided, in around 2003, that Canberra lacked memorials to the two world wars. To remedy this deficiency, they established the Memorials Development Committee, or MDC.

Eight years later, there is considerable alarm among people concerned about Canberra’s national symbolic architecture that the memorials project has advanced through the system without proper scrutiny. The need for new memorials to the world wars has not been proven. The statutory decision-maker has let down the Australian parliament and the people it is supposed to be serving. The planning authority, in its eagerness to deliver for the MDC, has cut corners, avoided issues and manipulated the decision-maker. The authority’s current representatives have obfuscated and stonewalled.

Definitely worth a read.

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
A look at the memorials push
creative_canberran 12:09 am 04 Jun 11

Mysteryman said :

I think they look awesome, and I like the idea that they are designed to remember the sacrifice of our soldiers. In all honesty I would much rather see things like this around our city than the public “art” that has been installed all over the place in recent times.

You mean sacrifices like in WWI where we threw a crazy number of soldiers into a petty squabble between dying empires and in which three of the combatants had monarchs that were cousins? Well I suppose then these huge stone monoliths would be appropriate then as a symbol of the king, the kaiser and the tsar whippin them out to see who could mess up Europe the most in a ye old imperial p–sing contest.

Actually the architecture here is inspired, it leaves a nice open space in the middle for some monument to Vietnam; perhaps a stone inscribed with the US Declaration of Independence that Ho Chi Minh quoted in his own declaration… oh and Roosevelt’s statement affirming self determination and trusteeship for Vietnam after liberating it from the Japanese before his death… and the CIA helping Ho and later telling Truman and Kennedy he wouldn’t become a puppet of China or the Soviets. You know, all that stuff that demonstrates the folly of the Vietnam War.

We have an absolutely fantastic memorial and museum in the AWM, one that lists the actual names of those who made the sacrifice.

As for bashing public art, for all the complaints we make, at least public art celebrates creation and creativity. Placing monuments at the centre of a city that glorify destruction and often folly is disgraceful in comparison.

Skidbladnir 10:29 pm 03 Jun 11

This is a terrible idea.
Why preclude the possibility there might be other Wars worth memorials?

Are we seriously buying into the Greatest Generation bullshit?
Way to deny there might be a future, folks…

The cat did it 10:11 pm 03 Jun 11

and where are they going to put their memorial for World War 3?

I-filed 6:26 pm 03 Jun 11

The traffic lights in Anzac Parade are more of a disturbance to the sight line.

I read the item – well, well – another Annabelle Pegrum fiasco.

People should ease off on the “duplication” argument, in case it’s decided that the War on Terror needs memorialising, rather than WWI and II, with these “Twin Towers”.

Onceler 3:29 pm 03 Jun 11

neanderthalsis said :

Is it just me or do these look suspiciously like the stone slab in 2001, A Space Odyssey

They do, especially the one on the right. Maybe if we gather around it and go apeshit it’ll usher in a new level of human consciousness!

alaninoz 2:41 pm 03 Jun 11

What a waste of space and money! It reduces the visual focus on the War Memorial and on Anzac parade, and reduces the amenity of the lake front.

The money would be better on improvements to the displays in the War Memorial.

Deref 2:32 pm 03 Jun 11

Hideous.

We have a war memorial.

MissChief 2:27 pm 03 Jun 11

Just awful!

I still don’t understand how they forgot about the Australian War Memorial when they figured a memorial was lacking for the two world wars.

neanderthalsis 1:10 pm 03 Jun 11

Is it just me or do these look suspiciously like the stone slab in 2001, A Space Odyssey

Onceler 10:42 am 03 Jun 11

How much war memorialising can one city take?

Chop71 10:31 am 03 Jun 11

oh no, they look like crap.

Thumper 10:25 am 03 Jun 11

We’ve already got a memorial, it’s called ANZAC Parade.

Mysteryman 10:10 am 03 Jun 11

I think they look awesome, and I like the idea that they are designed to remember the sacrifice of our soldiers. In all honesty I would much rather see things like this around our city than the public “art” that has been installed all over the place in recent times.

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