Monday, July 15, 2024

Christchurch cross returned to memorial

Christchurch’s historic Citizens’ War Memorial cross has been reinstated.

Council says the restoration of the memorial on its new site in Cathedral Square is well progressed, with work to reattach the memorial’s bronze figures now set to begin.

“Once the scaffolding is removed the bronze figures will be reattached to the central structure, and the memorial will be revealed and recognisable to the public,” says Council Head of Parks, Andrew Rutledge. 

“We have been lucky to have a small team of talented and committed stonemasons working on the memorial. The restoration work is extremely complex as the stonemasons need to ensure each stone is reinstated within millimetres of its original position.

“There is still some intricate work ahead but we’re confident the final result will restore the memorial to its former glory,” he said.

The Citizens’ War Memorial will have a new stronger internal structure and foundation to ensure it endures over time, Mr Rutledge said.

“We will have the memorial’s restoration and reinstatement complete in time for Anzac Day commemorations in 2023. It will be very special to have the restored memorial the focal point again of Christchurch’s dawn service, as it was before the earthquakes.’’

Jim Lilley of the Christchurch Memorial RSA has been involved in the reinstatement from its inception and says it is positive to see the project entering its final stage.

“The Citizens’ War Memorial is somewhere locals and visitors can pay their respects and acknowledge those who have given their lives for our country,” Mr Lilley says.

“I see it as their headstone at home. Most of us can’t easily travel to far afield countries where New Zealanders have served. The memorial is a place close to home we can visit to commemorate personal connections with veterans and military personnel.

“The public hasn’t had access to the memorial since the earthquakes. It’s great to be near the end of the journey and we will soon be able to come together to celebrate the memorial shining once again in the heart of our city,” he said.

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