Saturday, January 22, 2011

Are obelisks extravagant?

As this brief passage from the New South Wales Government Heritage website reveals, the Macquarie obelisk plays an unexpectedly large role in the history of Australia.

These qualities of the Obelisk and Macquarie Place symbolise Macquarie's vision for a permanent planned settlement, which provided the genesis for the development of the nation, and which far exceeded the views of the British Government of the Colony as simply a penal settlement. When the Obelisk was first erected in Macquarie Place, Commissioner Bigge, representing the British Government, found even this simple monument too grand for a penal colony. Governor Macquarie defended the expense and design of the monument with indignation as a "little unadorned Obelisk...rendered at a trifling expense, somewhat ornamental to the Town" which in his view did not "merit any censure". It was this difference of opinion that contributed to the resignation of a disillusioned Governor Macquarie, and meant that many of his plans and Greenway's designs for an elegant Georgian township were not realised.

It goes without saying that the blog left Sydney with a real dislike of Commissioner Bigge.

Jon's photo is evidence that almost anything in Sydney can be photographed with the Harbour Bridge in the background. It is so large that it is omnipresent (in a good way).

No comments:

Post a Comment