Date(s) - 11/03/2019 - 30/04/2019
A sculpture created from confiscated knives used to commit crimes is to go on display outside Coventry Cathedral.
The Knife Angel is a national monument against violence and aggression and aims to show the impact knife crime has on people’s lives.
With concerns around crimes in towns and cities well documented the Knife Angel will stand near the statue of St Michael from 11 March until April.
The 27-foot sculpture is made up of more than 100,000 weapons confiscated from 43 police forces across the country and was created by artist Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire.
It took four years in total to build the Knife Angel after permission was granted by the Home Office to collect the knives.
Cllr Ed Ruane, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities organised for the sculpture to come to Coventry.
He said: “I am sick and tired of watching Central Government ignore the impact austerity is having on our communities.
“We need change, that’s why the Knife Angel is so important. We need to show what Peace and Reconciliation really means to our young people growing up in communities where violent crime is ever increasing. We need to provoke a conversation.”
British Ironwork Centre began collecting the weapons by creating knife banks in each police force area.
The Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry said: “The Knife Angel is a stark reminder of a form of violent crime infecting our city and threatening lives with great danger, especially our young people.
“It also speaks the Coventry Story – that weapons of hate and destruction can be reworked into symbols of peace and hope, signalling a new future where violence is overcome.
“Together with people of every faith and none, we will not only care for the bereaved of such crimes but do all we can to build the sort of culture that eradicates their causes.
“I’m really glad that the Knife Angel will stand near St Michael, the guardian angel and patron of Coventry’s Cathedral.”
Mike O’Hara, Chief Superintendent of Coventry Police, said: “West Midlands Police cannot tackle knife crime without the support of partners and the community. The Knife Angel is symbolic of the support we have and the commitment we have from the people and groups I have spoken to.
“As well as standing alongside all those affected by knife crime we want to urge those who carry knives to recognise the pain they cause themselves and others as we work to a day when we truly see peace in our streets.”
Clive Knowles, Chairman, British Ironwork Centre said he was keen for more towns and cities to host the Angel. He said: “We want all towns and cities to step forward and offer to host the Angel, this began as a national effort and all cities are invited to contact us directly. So we can come together against this national blight.”