In 1936, two large sculpted guardian lions were donated to the Australian War Memorial by the burgomaster (mayor) of the Belgian city of Ypres. The lions, carved from limestone, were given to the Australian government as a gesture of friendship. The lions had originally stood on plinths on either side of the Menin Gate at Ypres. This gate was one of only two entries into the medieval fortified city. It was through this gate that allied soldiers, including Australians, marched to the battlefields of the Ypres salient between 1914 and 1918. After the war, the Menin Gate was chosen as the site for a memorial to the thousands of allied soldiers who were killed in the area but had no known grave.
The lions now feature at the entrance to the Australian War Memorial.
Polyresin bookends, boxed.