Chester will soon bid farewell to the Knife Angel national monument against aggression which is also a symbol of loss and hope for the future.
The 27-foot sculpture, made from 100,000 confiscated knives, was brought to the city thanks to a number of partner organisations and individuals, including The Gerrard and Audrey Couch Charitable Trust, but is only on display until Thursday, November 28.
Created by artist Alfie Bradley and commissioned by the British Ironwork Centre in Shropshire, many of the knives used to create the huge sculpture feature engravings from relatives of those killed by knife crime, as a powerful reminder of the devastating impact it can have.
Canon Jane Brooke, Chester Cathedral’s Canon Missioner and Vice Dean, hailed the positive impact of the Knife Angel and revealed how it has attracted attention from thousands of people since arriving in the city.
She said: “The current reality of knife crime in the UK is devastating and that’s why we felt it was so important to bring the Knife Angel to Chester.
“It’s sad to see the Knife Angel leaving the city this week, but it has been attracting thousands of people to stop and really think about this national issue. It’s a breathtaking sculpture that truly highlights the scale of the problem and serves as a poignant way to ensure awareness stays high and the overarching message has a lasting impact on the local community.
“We are hugely grateful for the support the cathedral has received from the Gerrard and Audrey Couch Charitable Trust and a number of partner organisations and individuals – without their help, we would not have been able to bring this important sculpture to our city.”
Clive Pointon, chairman of The Gerrard and Audrey Couch Charitable Trust, said: ‘’The Knife Angel is an incredibly powerful piece of art that acts as a physical reminder of the destructive effects of knife crime in the UK.
Mr Pointon, who also heads up the Wills, Trusts and Tax team at Chester-based law firm Aaron and Partners, added: “The Trust is proud to have played such an important role in bringing this powerful sculpture to Chester city centre, enabling the public to appreciate this iconic piece of art whilst also helping to promote an important message in our region. We were very pleased to be able to support Chester Cathedral in this way.”
The impressive sculpture weighs 4.5 tons and took 18 months to make – with each knife being welded into place by hand.
It was unveiled at a private launch event held at Chester Cathedral on November 1. Following its stay in Chester, the Knife Angel will head back to the British Ironwork Centre for the Christmas season.
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