Australian War Memorial set to reopen after second lockdown | Canberra weather

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The Australian War Memorial will reopen to the public after the second of its lockdowns imposed by COVID. It closed for 99 days from March 24 of last year and then, in the last lockdown, from August 14 until now, when it returns to the parade, although there is a lot of construction going on. Wednesday morning visitors will notice some changes. The large old entrance at the top of the steps, with Anzac Parade behind, is closed due to construction work. The new entrance is on the side, near Poppy’s Cafe, and features new long aisles and sliding glass doors. Tickets must be reserved in advance and are valid for a specified period. In the days leading up to the pandemic, visitors were able to introduce themselves and enter. This switched to online pre-booking after the first lockdown in 2020. This system remains, in part because of COVID and the continued desire for social distancing, but also because construction for the Memorial expansion continues in a steady pace. It is a building site. Parking arrangements have also changed. The new two-storey car park for visitors is adjacent to the café in car park P1. But the director of the Memorial, Matthew Anderson, is keen to say that the old areas of reverence remain the same for visitors. “Once inside, they will discover that all the things they know and love about the Australian War Memorial have remained unchanged: the memorial area, the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, the Honor Roll, the think tank, the galleries from WWI and WWII have all remained intact. ” This is not entirely correct: the lions of the Menin Gate have been reversed. These ancient limestone carvings stood on the medieval gates of the city of Ypres, the city of Flanders around which some of the most terrible fighting and terror of the First World War took place. They were presented in friendship at the Monument aux Morts by the mayor of the Belgian city. Before the Memorial closed, the sculptures welcomed visitors entering through the facade of the building. With this entrance closed, they were turned to face the courtyard of remembrance. While the old interior area of ​​the Memorial remains unchanged, the rest of the interior – the part that is more of a military museum – and the surroundings are modified and change as the day goes on. The exterior is now a construction site, although final approval has yet to be given for the memorial’s controversial $ 500 million expansion project. The first stages of the project have been approved by the National Capital Authority, but approval of the following stages is pending. Much of the controversy revolved around the redesign of Anzac Hall at the rear of the original domed building, with most of the 600 submissions in the public consultation being critical. According to its annual report for 2017-18 before the pandemic and the visitor lockdown, just over one million people visited the Memorial during the year. Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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