The Canadian government has announced the final selection for a national memorial to the victims of communism in Ottawa. When built, the monument will be among the largest of its kind in the world and will be situated a block away from Parliament Hill.
The project has long been championed by Canadian Minister of Employment and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenny who announced the winning design with The Canadian Minister of Heritage, Shelly Glover. A Toronto based team of Polish architects, ABSTRAKT Studio Architecture was selected on the recommendation of a jury of experts for the future National Memorial to Victims of Communism. The winning design was selected from among six finalists who were invited to present their concepts to a jury of professionals and to the public as part of a national design competition.
Ludwik Klimkowski, the chairman of a charitable organization that conducted fundraising campaign for the memorial, Tribute to Liberty, said that the memorial “will honour the more than 100 million lives lost under communist regimes and will recognize the experience of over 8 million Canadians who trace their immigration story to communist countries.”
Minister Glover said “we are one step closer to building this significant National Memorial to Victims of Communism.”
The announcement comes at a time when Russian authorities have ramped up a campaign to sanitize Soviet history including denials of the violent occupation of former Soviet republics, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. Russia’s occupation of the Finnish former eastern province of Karelia continues through to the present day.
The monument will feature a “Wall of Remembrance” where those who donate $1000, will be able to submit the name of a loved one, or someone important to them for inclusion on the wall.
According to the Canadian Heritage Ministry, construction on the massive monument will begin in early 2015.