In time for services commemorating the ANZAC Centenary, the City has completed a broad range of upgrades of our war memorials.
The City's conservators have done a great job restoring the Martin Place Cenotaph to near-new condition and performed vital heritage restoration work on 10 other war memorials as part of the City Art Conservation Program, including:
- First World War Memorial to Pyrmont-Ultimo Servicemen in Pyrmont;
- Oddfellows Memorial in Hyde Park;
- Emden gun in Hyde Park from German Ship SMS Emden, sunk by HMAS Sydney;
- WWI Soldiers Memorial in Woolloomooloo;
- World War I memorial in Redfern Park;
- The Artillery Gun in Redfern Park;
- Newtown War Memorial on King Street;
- Paddington War Memorial on Oxford Street;
- Glebe War Memorial; and
- Archibald Memorial Fountain, Hyde Park.
The Cenotaph's sentinel statues - a bronze solider and sailor standing proudly at either end - have been carefully cleaned and maintained eight times over the past two years in preparation. Grime, dirt and cobwebs were removed in the series of detailed clean-ups using delicate nylon-bristled brushes and old layers of wax coatings were melted off and the bronze recoated for a glowing finish.
The City has also overseen a meticulous restoration of the Glebe War Memorial in Foley Park. When the tribute was initially completed in 1922, a bronze Victoria Cross sat on top, proudly clasped to a marble orb, but the cross has been missing for decades. Specialist metal-artists reproduced the missing Glebe memorial Victoria Cross by taking a mould from one that sits atop the Mascot War Memorial, which was designed by the same architect, William Martin.
We have also created new monuments, such as the new public artwork to commemorate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women in Hyde Park - Yininmadyemi, or "Thou didst let fall". The dramatic sculpture by Aboriginal artist Tony Albert features four seven-metre tall, 1.5-tonne marble and steel bullets and shell casings to represent the diggers who fought for their country.
Our "Salute Their Service" street banners will fly until Sunday 28 April.
The tragic loss of life during World War I was a defining time for Australia. The City is ensuring that our memorials honouring those who served in that conflict, and all those more recent battlefronts, are maintained to the highest standards.