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Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Canada selects design for national Holocaust monument

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The Jewish Museum in Berlin designed by Daniel Libeskind. [Wikimedia Commons photo]

A team that includes renowned architect Daniel Libeskind was chosen to create a national Holocaust monument in Ottawa.

The winning team, chosen over five others, was announced Monday by Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Multiculturalism Minister Tim Uppal.

Uppal had introduced the bill that led to the monument’s creation.

The monument is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2015.

The winning team is led by Gail Dexter Lord, co-president of Toronto-based Lord Cultural Resources, which also consulted on the Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg and the 9/11 Museum in New York. Both his parents were Holocaust survivors.

Its design features a large gathering space for ceremonies with room for 1,000 people enclosed by six triangular, concrete segments to create the points of a star — reminiscent of the yellow stars that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.

“The winning design is a fully integrated proposal in which architecture, landscape, art and interpretation communicate the hardship and suffering of victims while conveying a powerful message of humanity’s enduring strength and survival,” a government media release issued Monday said.

Libeskind’s buildings include the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen. In 2003, he won the competition to be the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site.

In addition to Libeskind, the team includes artist-photographer Edward Burtynsky, Quebec-based landscape architect Claude Cormier and University of Toronto Holocaust scholar Doris Bergen.

Once completed, Canada “will no longer be the only Allied nation without a national Holocaust monument,” noted the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “In bearing witness to the Holocaust, the monument will be a compelling reminder of the dangers of unchecked evil and the enduring imperative to confront all manifestations of anti-Semitism and hatred.”
 

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