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Designs sought for Tomb of the Unknown Warrior

Designs sought for Tomb of the Unknown Warrior

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today that the government plans to unveil a Tomb of the Unknown Warrior on Armistice Day 2003, and is calling for expressions of interest for the Tomb’s design.

Helen Clark said that the Tomb will be located near Wellington’s National War Memorial.

“The dedication of the New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior on that day, November 11, will be a very appropriate way of marking this significant anniversary.

“Agreement has been reached with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to repatriate the remains of a New Zealand soldier killed in World War One. Like thousands of others wearing the New Zealand uniform, the soldier whose remains will be repatriated died on the Western Front but cannot be identified any further.

“As the soldier’s name, rank, regiment, race, religion and other details are unknown, he will represent all those lost to their families through war. It will be a symbolic bringing home on behalf of the 28,000 New Zealanders who are buried in foreign lands as a result of service overseas.

“The Tomb will be a focus of remembrance for the sacrifice made by all New Zealanders who fought and died overseas.

“In recent years, both Australia and Canada have repatriated one of their unknown soldiers from World War One and buried it in or near their war memorials in Canberra and Ottawa respectively.”

Helen Clark said that the government was now calling for expressions of interest in the Tomb’s detailed design.

“I hope that our talented architects and artists will consider submitting their ideas. The Tomb will be an important national memorial. A striking and memorable design will be a further mark of respect to those it honours and the sacrifice they made.

“The Tomb’s design is the final part of this project. The government has been working closely with the Defence Force and the Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association on the plans for the Tomb since last year.

“Work will begin in June next year at the National War Memorial to construct the site for the Tomb. A New Zealand delegation will travel to France for a ceremony on November 2 to begin the process of repatriating the unknown warrior.

“On the return of the remains, the unknown soldier will lie in state in Parliament before the Armistice Day ceremony to mark the interment at the Tomb.

Helen Clark said that expressions of interest in for the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior’s design are due on 24 January 2003. Information on process for submitting expressions of interest is available from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage in Wellington http:// http://www.mch.govt.nz.

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