Historical designs sought

September 10, 1999

British academics, from artists to engineers, are being given the opportunity to bring to life a piece of English history - 10,000 miles from home.

Australia is planning to commemorate the signing of the Magna Carta, which forms the basis of its own - slightly younger - legal traditions, and this week launched a design competition to transform Magna Carta Place, a hectare of land between the Old Parliament House and the British High Commission in Canberra, Australia's national capital.

The competition is open to British and Australian design professionals, including architects, artists, sculptors and engineers, with the organisers - the National Capital Authority and the Australia-Britain Society - keen for academics to get involved.

Canberra is also home to an original 700-year-old copy of the Magna Carta which is owned by Australia and displayed in Parliament House.

Entrants have until November 1 to propose a design. Costing up to Aus$800,000 (Pounds 320,000), it may combine architectural, sculptural, landscape and other artistic design elements, as well as lighting, a small shelter, inscriptions and plaques, and three-dimensional sculptures.

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