The Vimy Memorial commemorates Canadians who fought and died in the First World War. In honoring the ordinary soldier, it departs from earlier traditions of celebrating victory or paying tribute to military leaders. The memorial is remarkable for its aesthetic qualities, as well as for its relationship to its battle landscape. This presentation examines the original conception of the monument and memorial park as a sacred site. It traces the gradual deterioration of the site, and the consequential challenges to its management and presentation, attributable to an under-appreciation of its metaphysical qualities. The presentation concludes with a description of a recent major international restoration project aimed at recapturing the significance of the place.
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