Huge Cultural Treasure Unveiled at the Canadian Museum of Civilization

Gatineau, Quebec – The Canadian Museum of Civilization is proud to unveil and place on permanent display, a magnificent artistic mural depicting the growth of Canada.

The huge mural was donated to the Museum of Civilization in January 2009 by Holcim (Canada) Inc., formerly St. Lawrence Cement. Measuring more than 15 metres tall, the mural had been installed in the foyer of a Montréal building owned by Holcim Canada. When the building was sold as part of a corporate reorganization, employees encouraged the company to donate the mural to the Museum. Holcim Canada also generously donated funds to assist in the restoration of this unique mural.

The 65-square-metre (700-square-foot) mural had been commissioned by the British American Oil Company, which had its headquarters in the Montréal building in 1957. It was designed by Thor Hansen, an important figure in the history of Canadian design and folk art. It was painted on canvas by Montréal artist Umberto Bruni.

“The mural is symbolic of a golden age of Canadian design,” said Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. “Thanks to Holcim Canada and its employees, visitors will be able to see this huge work of art, and its beautiful presentation of Canadian themes in history.”

“As a corporate citizen with deep roots in this country and a strong commitment to social responsibility, we were proud to make this important donation to the people of Canada,” said Paul Ostrander, President and CEO of Holcim Canada.

“The mural is a wonderful addition to the Museum’s permanent collections,” said Alan Elder, Curator of Canadian Crafts, Decorative Arts and Design at the Museum of Civilization. “As the project has finally come full circle, the beautifully restored mural is once again ready for public display.”

Thor Hansen was a Danish émigré, textile artist and champion of the arts who had the idea of incorporating Canadian craft into modern national architecture. He pursued that vision with the backing of the British American Oil Company, where he worked as art director from 1948 to 1968. He died in 1976.

Umberto Bruni, an accomplished artist, is now retired at the age of 95 years. He resides in Montréal.

Employing approximately 3,500 Canadians and generating annual revenues over $1.3 billion, Holcim (Canada) Inc. is a leading producer and supplier of products and services for the construction industry, serving customers across Canada. Holcim (Canada) Inc. is a member of the Holcim Group. With majority and minority interests in approximately 70 countries on all continents, the Holcim Group is one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates as well as further construction activities such as ready-mix concrete and construction services.

The mural is on permanent display in the Southern Salon, on level one of the Museum.

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