The War Memorial is explaining their changes and re-arrangements as they pursue their status as a museum rather than a memorial to the greater glory of Brendan Nelson:
This week the Sinai–Palestine and Western Front galleries will temporarily close to the public. A suite of newly redesigned galleries will be launched in this space early in 2015.
“The Centenary of the First World War is fast approaching and the Memorial is gearing up to deliver something very special,” said Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial. “Our new First World War galleries will draw on a range of new interactive technologies that will take the Memorial far beyond the Centenary. The refurbishment will place the Memorial’s galleries at the forefront of Australia’s Centenary program.”
The redevelopment of the First World War galleries is supported by the Australian Government, which has provided $28.7 million towards the project.
The first stage of the redevelopment began in November last year when conservators started work on conserving the dioramas.
“Favorite exhibits, such as the dioramas, will remain a prominent part of the new galleries, but the redevelopment also offers an exciting opportunity to display objects that have rarely been seen and in some cases never seen before,” said Dr Nelson. “For the first time, the dioramas will be placed in chronological order and explained in a manner suitable for a younger generation.”
The Memorial’s Sinai–Palestine and Western Front galleries are closed from this week, but the Gallipoli gallery will remain open until June. Later this year a temporary First World War exhibition “ANZAC Voices” will open, so visitors to the Memorial can continue to learn about the Great War until the new galleries open in 2015.
“This is only the beginning of a busy period at the Memorial,” said Dr Nelson. “Not only is the redevelopment of the First World War galleries now fully under way, we are also making rapid progress on a powerful new Afghanistan exhibition.”
When Dr Nelson was last in Afghanistan, an Australian soldier remarked to him, “Sir, when I take my son to the Memorial, I can show him what his great-grandfather did. I can show him what his grandfather did. But I can’t show him what I’m doing.”
“The Australian War Memorial is the national site of commemoration and interpretation of the Australian experience of war,” said Dr Nelson. “We owe it to our current servicemen and women to tell their stories and place them amongst the great stories of those Australians who served in the past.”
The Death Cult of Anzac as the new State Religion marches on apace.