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City, developer lay claim to cannon
A 19th-century cannon that withstood the siege of Sebastopol during the Crimean War has become the centrepiece of a battle between a developer and the city of Hamilton.

Angelo Riccio, of Brampton-based Varcon Construction Co., says the Russian cannon, which stood guard front of the Royal Hamilton Military Institute for three decades, belongs to him.

The city, however, says the cannon belongs to the citizens of Hamilton, and Ward 2 Councillor Andrea Horwath is talking about speaking to lawyers.

"They knew it was our property," Horwath said yesterday at a special meeting of the city's Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC).

The cannon was removed Saturday from the Robinson and Park streets landmark, which Riccio started tearing down last week ahead of city efforts to try to designate it a heritage building.

Riccio -- who was granted a demolition permit from the city two weeks ago -- said yesterday he removed the cannon and placed it in storage for safekeeping after receiving calls about it last week. He said he has no intention of selling it, but he wants the cannon to be displayed on the property again if and when it's developed, as a reminder of the site's military heritage.

"I want the city to show me proof of ownership," Riccio said. "It came with the property." Source.

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July 5, 2002