Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/12/2011 (3422 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
After reigning over the old Winnipeg Arena for two decades, a massive portrait of the Queen will be dusted off and displayed for sale.
The seven-metre-high painting has been stored with neither pomp nor circumstance in a Whitby, Ont., warehouse since she was taken down from the Winnipeg Arena rafters in 1999.
"She will be up for sale, but an auction date has not yet been set. I don't want to jinx anything, but I can announce that she will be coming out of storage and will be on display early next year," said Anya Wilson, the custodian of the oil painting.
It will be the first time the portrait has been on display since it left Winnipeg 12 years ago. The announcement comes just in time for the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 and her 60 years on the throne.
Wilson remained tight-lipped on how much money the portrait is expected to fetch and where the portrait will be displayed. She did say, however, Winnipeg should be the first to find out because the city is the painting's hometown.
"We keep getting emails from people in Winnipeg who say they grew up with her and that she's a part of their childhood. Even when I was in Nashville, one journalist from there didn't know much about Canada but knew that the largest known portrait of the Queen hung in the Jets stadium."
Is that a hint Her Majesty will once again watch over the Jets?
Don't count on it.
"I don't think there's any interest (from the NHL), but I know Don Cherry loves it. He really petitioned to have her back in Winnipeg but I don't think the new owners of the stadium are interested," said Wilson.
She's right. True North spokesman Scott Brown said there'll be no change of heart from them.
"The dimensions of the portrait are just too big. If we hung it in one end of the arena it would block the view of the ice surface," said Brown. And the same goes for the rest of the MTS Centre -- "It's simply too big" to display, he said.
Although the new arena is out of the question, Carol Burfoot, the daughter of Gilbert Burch who did the painting in 1979, hopes her father's work will return to the province. Burfoot grew up in Winnipeg but now calls B.C. home.
"I feel that its place should be in Manitoba because Dad was born and raised there. I'm a bit biased but it's an amazing portrait and something I've always felt Winnipeg should be proud of," she said.