Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance

Dedicated to the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. This monument was erected to honour those Australian servicemen and women who served during world war one. Here you will find snippets of information not found in any tourist guide book!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

CRACK POT !


If you walk around the outside of the Shrine, you will notice 12 large, ornate urns mounted onto the walls which run either side of the steps. There are two each on the Eastern and Western sides and there are four on the North and South sides.


These fluted urns, whose main feature is four lion heads, were hand carved on site by junior stonemasons. They make the approaches to the Shrine just that little bit more interesting.


One of the urns, however, has a secret! The story goes that when the urns were being positioned onto the walls, one of them was either knocked against the wall or dropped onto the ground and broke into two pieces.

These items, being the finishing touches, had to be in position before the grand Shrine opening. There was no time to have another carved and so something had to be done.


The rumour is, that the stone urn had a hole drilled through it from top to bottom and a steel rod was inserted. The rod was cut shorter than the height of the urn so that the hole could be sealed with some mortar mix to prevent rust from forming. ( See photos )


All went well for several years, and no one was any the wiser that a near catastrophe had been averted by some cunning repair work. That is, of course, until the cracked urn started to leech a rust coloured deposit from the join. It is now quite obvious that one of the urns was broken as it shows a diagonal rust-red line running through it. The repair job was so good, however, that it is expected not to require any further attention for the foreseeable future, and it is expected to last for many years to come.


If an observer is able to look at the top of the urn, the 'plug' of mortar can still be seen in the centre of the upper surface.


More details of some of the exterior features can be found on the official Shrine website here:

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