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A 'memorialtorium' for Canberra

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17 January 2012 16:26

The Economist's 'Democracy in America' blog calls for a moratorium on the building of memorials in Washington, DC:

There are many culprits in the devolution of much of Washington into a cloddish, ugly, characterless city. And in some neighbourhoods the past 20 years have seen momentum in the opposite direction. But the relentless drive towards ever more memorials is definitely part of the problem. There hasn't been an interesting or culturally significant one built since the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the early 1980s. The FDR memorial is weird. The second-world-war memorial is pompous, empty of ideas, and militaristic; if the other guys had won, they probably would have built something that looked very similar.

To some degree, this also goes for Canberra, which in some places looks like a theme park for memorials rather than a living city. But Australia as a whole is thankfully bereft of what The Economist calls the 'bold men staring into the distance' style of memorial, preferring tributes on a more human scale. The recent Curtin-Chifley statue (above) is a nice example.

Photo courtesy of the ACT Government.

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