Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

New Australian War Museum

Nick Miller, Tony Abbott unveils plans for new Sir John Monash Centre in France, smh.com.au, 26 April 2015

A new $100-million war museum at the Australian memorial in Villers-Bretonneaux will have a ‘foreign field’ as its roof, and take inspiration from old sacrifice and new technology to tell the story of the Anzacs on the Somme.

Prime minister Tony Abbott revealed details of the design of the interpretive centre, to be known as the Sir John Monash Centre, on a visit to the fields of the old Western Front on Sunday.

“The story of Gallipoli is very well known indeed but the story of Australia on the Western Front should be much better known and that’s what the Monash centre will be all about,” Abbott said.

“It was an extraordinary story… valour and indomitable commitment but it was a story of success as well. Gallipoli was a splendid failure but the Western Front was a terrible victory and we should remember our victories as much as we remember our defeats.”

The museum would be a lasting legacy of the centenary of Anzac commemorations, he said.

The centre, due to open in 2018, takes inspiration from the design of the memorial which was first dedicated in 1938 in the presence of King George VI.

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