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The monument to Copernicus

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Photo: Planétarium de Montréal (Marc Jobin)

What is it?

This statue is a replica of the piece created by famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844). An original from the initial cast, the statue was given to the City of Montréal in 1966 by the Polish community to commemorate the Centennial of Canadian Confederation. Cast in bronze, the Copernicus monument is 2.8 meters high (excluding the base) and weighs 1.9 metric tonnes.

Who was Copernicus?

A Polish astronomer who lived from 1473 to 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus was the founder of modern astronomy. He was the first to make the hypothesis that the Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun. His new model, called the heliocentric model, provided explanations for countless observations. Although his proposal was rejected for several years, it was ultimately accepted by the scientific community.

From Expo 67 to the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium

The monument was originally set up in front of the Man the Explorer theme pavilion at Expo 67. After the Expo site closed, it was transferred to the gardens of the Dow Planetarium in 1968. It stayed there until October 2013, when it was moved to a spot in front of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, a location worthy of this visionary astronomer.

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