New Zealand War Memorial, London
The New Zealand War Memorial is a war memorial to the war dead of New Zealand in the First and Second World Wars at Hyde Park Corner
Hyde Park Corner
Hyde Park Corner is a place in London, at the south-east corner of Hyde Park. It is a major intersection where Park Lane, Knightsbridge, Piccadilly, Grosvenor Place and Constitution Hill converge...
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
, at the Piccadilly
Piccadilly is a major street in central London, running from Hyde Park Corner in the west to Piccadilly Circus in the east. It is completely within the city of Westminster. The street is part of the A4 road, London's second most important western artery. St...
end of the traffic island surrounding Wellington Arch
Wellington Arch, also known as Constitution Arch or the Green Park Arch, is a triumphal arch located to the south of Hyde Park in central London and at the north western corner of Green Park...
and is diagonally opposite the Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial, London
The Australian War Memorial is a war memorial to the 102,000 Australian dead of the First and Second World Wars at Hyde Park Corner in London, at the southernmost corner of the traffic island around the Wellington Arch, at the junction of Grosvenor Place and Wellington Place.The memorial is a...
DesignDesigned by architect John Hardwick-Smith and sculptor Paul Dibble, the memorial consists of 16 cross-shaped vertical bronze 'standards' set out in formation on a grassy slope. Each standard is adorned with text, patterns and small sculptures. The budget for the design and construction of the memorial was $3 million.
The Memorial commemorates the enduring bonds between New Zealand and the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
, and the shared sacrifice of the two countries during times of war.
HistoryIn October 2004, 12 design teams were selected from the 68 who submitted expressions of interest. These teams submitted designs for the memorial, and an expert panel, appointed by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, selected the final design. The design was then refined and submitted to Westminster City Council for planning approval. The memorial design is a collaboration between Dibble Art Co and Athfield Architects, led by sculptor Paul Dibble and architect John Hardwick-Smith, with Jon Rennie as the team's London representative.
The official dedication of the New Zealand Memorial took place on 11 November 2006 (Armistice Day
Armistice Day is on 11 November and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day...
) by Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand
Monarchy in New Zealand
The monarchy of New Zealand also referred to as The Crown in Right of New Zealand, Her Majesty in Right of New Zealand, or The Queen in Right of New Zealand is the constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of the Realm of New Zealand,...
. In attendance were the New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark
Helen Elizabeth Clark, ONZ is a New Zealand political figure who was the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand for three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2008...
, the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...
and other members of the royal family.
CriticismRichard Shone, editor of The Burlington Magazine
The Burlington Magazine
The Burlington Magazine is a monthly academic journal that covers the fine and decorative arts. It is the longest running art journal in the English language and it is a charitable organisation since 1986. It was established in 1903 by a group of art historians and connoisseurs which included Roger...
has criticised the memorial in an attack on the 'infestation of public space', describing it as “bristlingly unlovely".