COVID-19: Memorial opens in Warwickshire – but will be burned down ‘in a powerful moment of catharsis’ | UK News

A memorial to victims of COVID-19 in Warwickshire will be set on fire shortly after its completion.

It is installed at Miner’s Welfare Park in Bedworth, with members of the public invited to adorn the walls with letters and memorabilia when it opens today.

The 20m (65ft) wooden structure, which has been called Sanctuary, pays tribute to those who died after testing positive for coronavirus over the past two years.

The memorial is open until May 28, when it will be set on fire and burnt to the ground “in a powerful moment of catharsis to help signal a rebirth”.

Artist David Best, known for his large, intricately sculpted structures at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, designed the memorial, along with independent arts company Artichoke, which produced Sanctuary.

It was built in collaboration with members of the North Warwickshire community.

In the UK, more than 178,000 people have died from coronavirus since the virus emerged in March 2020.

In March 2021, a mural organized by COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice was opened to the public in London.

The National COVID Memorial Wall stretches 500m along the River Thames and has been painstakingly painted by volunteers to commemorate the victims of the pandemic.

David Best designed the memorial. Photograph Andrew Moore

“This past year and a half has not been easy for anyone. We have faced terrible tragedy and great loss. I believe in the power of collaboration and community, only by acknowledging pain and sadness and by laying down our burdens, we can face the future of a place of hope and renewal,” Mr. Best said.

Read more:
Bereaved families call for coronavirus memorial wall to be made permanent

Helen Marriage, Managing Director and Artistic Director of Artichoke, told Sky News: “The piece is about what everyone has lost over the past two years.

“To give up something so personal, you have to lose the piece. What does it mean if something stays there forever, it means nothing. If it stays in people’s memory, it’s a thing much stronger than a statue they ever look at.”

Councilor Kris Wilson, who is the leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, added: ‘This is a symbolic burning of the tower and it is meant to symbolize the end of something and the renewal or rebirth of something. ‘another.”

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Edward L. Robinett