Four striking designs for the French memorial at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington go on public display tonight, Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry says.
The designs, selected from a field of 43 entries, will be on show in the foyer of the Great War Exhibition in the Dominion Museum Building until November 20.
“I encourage everyone who might be planning a visit to Sir Peter Jackson’s outstanding Great War Exhibition or Pukeahu to have a look at the designs, one of which will soon become France’s memorial in the park,” Ms Barry says.
“They all take different approaches to remembrance, drawing on a variety of influences from war poetry or the Kiwi miner’s tunnels in Arras to shared memories in though-provoking and intelligent ways.
“New Zealanders fought alongside French soldiers at Gallipoli and on the Western Front in France and Belgium. The French people spoke highly of these men who had come from the far side of the world to help them in a dark moment of their history, and have never forgotten it was the brave New Zealand soldiers who liberated Le Quesnoy at the end of the war. The bonds of friendship forged between our two nations are deep and enduring.”
A final decision selecting the memorial will be made by an expert jury including current French Ambassador Florence Jeanblanc-Risler and Sarah Dennis, former NZ Ambassador to France.
“France is one of the first nations to have a memorial at Pukeahu,” Ms Barry says.
“It is fitting that during the four year international centenary of the conflict we are building a place where nations can come together to remember, honour and reflect on shared sacrifice.”
Construction of the French Memorial, with a budget of $570,000, will begin next year with its inauguration planned for 2018.
The four finalists are:
Le Calligramme by Patterson Associates, architects, Paul Baragwanath, culture and art adviser, and Suzanne Turley, landscape architect
L'Arc de Paix - The Arc of Peace by Kingsley Baird (artist) and Adam Flowers (CCM Architects) with Professor Annette Becker (French historian), Allen Wihongi (Maori cultural advisor) and Alistair Cattanach (structural engineer)
Carrière de Mémoire – Quarry of Memory by Andrew Sexton Architecture
Les Fleurs Sauvages by Amanda Bulman and Nicolas Zilliox (bbc architects), Jake Yocum (artist), Richard Ainsworth (architect), Nick Denton (architecture graduate), and Hamish Moorhead (Moorhead Landscapes)
More information on the proposed French Memorial and the finalists can be found at www.frenchmemorialatpukeahu.org/
Updated on 9th November 2016