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Sydney, 1901: Federation, National Identity and the Arches of Commemoration

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Triumphal arches are part of a long tradition of urban spectacle. They were employed in colonial and early postcolonial Australian cities to mark major state events including centenaries and royal visits. They signposted the official parade route for the inauguration of the Australian Commonwealth in Sydney on 1 January 1901. This article describes the temporary arches and the events leading up to them in the context of the Federation movement and the urban development of Sydney. It explores what the arches expressed of contemporary Australia, and how their unitary classicism both conveyed and represented more complex cultural meanings.
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Keywords: Australia; Federation; Sydney; nationhood celebrations; triumphal arches; urban development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Environment and Conservation (New South Wales) Sydney Australia

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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