Why build a wall to keep people out when you can build one to bring people together?
That’s the sentiment behind Tasmania’s International Wall Of Friendship, a unique little-known tourist attraction that’s been putting out its feel-good vibe to visitors for 16 years and counting.
Believed to be the only project of its kind in the world, the crucial part of the wall is made up of individual stone blocks crafted from materials all the way from the various countries whose members have migrated permanently to Tasmania.
The first block was an official gift from China presented in 1984, with another 26 stone blocks forthcoming over the following five years as people rapidly got into the spirit of the thing.
The Wall was officially established in October 1992 and today there are 54 stone plaques, with over 100 to go from migrant communities living on the Apple Isle. Each bears the inscription “Presented by the people of (insert country) as a symbol of friendship and goodwill” in that country’s native language, with an English translation if needed.
The gathering from around the globe of so many different raw materials to build this one momentous piece of community minded architecture is a wonderful achievement. And while Tassie’s Great Wall may not be visible from space, it’s well worth a close-up look next time you’re in Hobart.
Where // In the sunken garden at the Commonwealth Govt. Centre at 188 Collins Street Hobart. (03) 6233 3439, http://www.internationalwalloffriendship.com/
Did you know? // Rather than simply installing a stone block to represent Tasmania’s Aboriginal population, Indigenous artist Allan Mansell won a competition to paint a mural called “Reaching Out” across the ceiling and down a central pillar (above).
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