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TORONTO — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Development, today highlighted Canada’s contribution of an exceptionally rare piece of Canadian granite to be featured in a new Peace Memorial being constructed in Italy. The memorial is being established to emphasize the ties between Italy and United Nations (UN) member countries while recognizing the UN’s values of peace and brotherhood.
“Canada is proud to be part of Italy’s new Peace Memorial,” said Minister Oliver. “Our contribution underscores our commitment to freedom and democracy. It will stand as a lasting symbol of Canada’s vast natural resources.”
The Government of Italy invited UN member states to contribute to a peace memorial that is to be fashioned from mineral samples. As minerals represent a country’s geography, terrain and resources, Natural Resources Canada selected a specimen of granite from the Acasta Gneiss, an outcrop in the Northwest Territories that forms part of the Canadian Shield, the geological core of the North American continent. With an estimated age of 4.2 billion years, the Acasta Gneiss is the Earth’s oldest known rock.
Canada–Italy ties have been forged through long-standing multilateral relationships and the existence of vibrant Italian-Canadian communities across Canada.
“Italian-Canadians have played and continue to play an important role in building the modern and advanced society that Canada is today,” said Minister Fantino. “This project provides a further occasion to recognise the contributions made to our society by Canadians of Italian descent who, much like this granite, form an important part of the Canadian bedrock.”
This is the first time that Canada has sent a sample of rock from the Canadian Shield for use in a UN-related project. Since its inception in 1945, the UN has built over 2,000 peace monuments in order to preserve the memory of an event in a physical and permanent way. The Peace Memorial will be unveiled in 2014 in the town of Veroli, located 99 kilometres southeast of Rome.
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