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Repairs will close Ottawa's iconic National War Memorial for duration of summer

OTTAWA — The federal Department of Public Works says the National War Memorial will be closed for repairs this summer.

The towering granite and bronze monument, which rises just a stone's throw from Parliament Hill, includes the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The site will be closed to the public from mid-April until early November, although the department aims to have it open for the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies on Nov. 11.

The restoration work includes completing the replacement of the structural slab, repairing damaged areas and refurbishing the bronze statues.

The memorial, initially erected to commemorate the losses of the First World War, was opened in the spring of 1939, just months before the outbreak of the Second World War.

It was commissioned after a design competition won by British sculptor Vernon March.

It includes a 21-metre-high granite arch topped by two winged figures in bronze. Between the towers of the arch are larger-than-life bronze figures representing Canadians in the war, from nursing sisters to gunners, sailors, flyers and infantrymen.

The monument is entitled "The Response."

It has grown from a commemoration of the First World War to a symbol of the sacrifice of all Canadians in the country's wars.

It is normally a natural draw for crowds of tourists during the summer months.

The Canadian Press

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