The Current

A proposed war memorial along Cape Breton's Cabot trail is causing controversy over whether it belongs in a National Park

The controversy over a proposed eight storey high war memorial along Cape Breton's Cabot trail

They would call her Mother Canada, a towering statue proposed to rise above the cliffs of Cape Breton's Cabot Trail. A monument to Canada's war dead far across the sea. The Never Forgotten Memorial Foundation plans to re-vise the image of the Canada Bereft statue that now stands over Vimy Ridge for this monument in a National Park. But opponents question the location and the artistic merit.

On a beautiful spot along Cape Breton's Cabot trail, is a plot of land destined for an immense tribute to Canada's war dead.

Green Cove, Cape Breton - the proposed site for the Mother Canada statue (Joan Weeks/CBC)

An 8 storey-high statue called "Mother Canada" would look out across the Atlantic toward Europe where tens of thousands of Canadians soldiers died in battle. Residents near the site are divided over the memorial, and whether Green Cove is the right place for such a monument

As part of our project By Design, CBC Cape Breton's Joan Weeks joined us from Sydney to tell us about Mother Canada.

Canada Bereft statue at Vimy Ridge - detail of the Vimy memorial. (Courtesy of Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation )

What do you think of this 8 storey-tall statue, Mother Canada, in the Cape Breton National Park?

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This segment was produced by Halifax Network Producer Mary Lynk.

Many other war memorials have been controversial. You may remember debate over the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC but there are others around the world.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin

After budget battles, arguments over aesthetics, and political power trips, Germany's national Holocaust memorial was finally dedicated in May 2005. Designed by Peter Eisenman, the 5.5-acre monument is a charcoal-colored stone slab labyrinth. The slabs are protected by an anti-graffiti coating, which, coincidentally, was manufactured by the same company that produced poison gas for the Nazis.(AP/Markus Schreiber)

Valley of the Fallen, Spain

Dictator Francisco Franco ordered the construction of this monument outside Madrid to honor those who died for his cause during the 1930s Spanish Civil War. And he enlisted political prisoners to carve the massive basilica into a mountainside--infuriating many Spaniards. After years of demonstrations and debate, in May 2011, the government assembled a commission to evaluate its future. Its initial recommendation calls for Franco's body to be removed from the site. (Reuters/Andrea Comas)

World War II Memorial in Sofia, Bulgaria

In 2011, this Soviet war memorial was vandalized. The figures were painted to resemble U.S. comic book heroes and characters from popular culture like Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald, the mascot of fast-food chain giant McDonald's. The inscription below them reads: "Moving with the times". Moscow urged a harsh punishment for the perpetrator, but tourists flocked to see it. (Reuters/Stoyan Nenov)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC (1982)

Maya Lin's design of a granite wall inscribed with the name of every fallen soldier garnered nearly as much controversy as the war it commemorates. Initially criticized by many as anti-war and a "black gash of shame," it is now celebrated as ground-breaking in its design. (Reuters/Larry Downing

Memorial in Gentioux-Pegerolles, France

A World War I memorial with the inscription "Maudite soit la guerre" ("cursed be war") depicts a war orphan beside a column inscribed with names of the dead. The monument to peace was so controversial it took 70 years to be officially dedicated. (Google Streetview)