26th Jun, 2022

Cathedral ruins earth sculpture exhibition commemorating 80th anniversary of Blitz is cancelled

AN EXHIBITION of Luke Jerram’s spectacular artwork Gaia in Coventry Cathedral ruins has been cancelled.

The Gaia exhibition – a detailed sculpture of Earth measuring seven metres in diameter – was scheduled to be a free ticketed event on November 13 and 14 to commemorate Coventry’s 80th anniversary of the Blitz.

Since a second national lockdown was announced the decision to cancel the art exhibition was taken by Coventry City Council Council, in consultation with various partners involved in the project, adhering to the latest government health and wellbeing advice.

Coun Abdul Salam Khan, cabinet member for events, said: ““We are very sad that we have had to cancel Gaia but in light of the weekend’s announcement, we know that this is the right decision.

“With all public events, the health and safety of attendees and staff is vital and we believe that postponing the event is the only option.

“We appreciate that many people have been looking forward to Gaia and marking the 80th anniversary of the Blitz in person, however, I hope you all understand why we’ve had to make the decision. Rest assured, the Council is hard at work identifying an alternative way we can mark this important anniversary in a safe and fitting manner.”

Discussions are ongoing about how the city can mark this landmark anniversary in a safe and appropriate way that complies with the lockdown.

A number of other planned events are now moving online including Coventry Peace Festival, which runs until November 16. They include:

  • A pre-recorded Remembrance Day Service, will be streamed live on BBC CWR and the council’s website on Sunday November 8.
  • The Lord Mayor’s Annual Peace Lecture delivered by Professor Sir David King, the former scientific advisor to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.  It will be streamed live  on November 12 via  Coventry Cathedral’s website.
  • The winners of the 2020 Coventry Young People’s Peace essay competition will be announced on November 15

Lady Mayor of Coventry, Coun Ann Lucas, said “Once again, Coventry will celebrate its recognition as a city famous for being a leading city of peace and reconciliation with our Peace Festival.

“Now, more than ever, the world needs to focus on peace, love, compassion and understanding. Communities in Coventry have shown how many different faiths, cultures and languages can live together, support each other through difficult times and now have a chance to highlight the ongoing work for peace constantly taking place in the city.”

“Due to the ongoing challenges we all face with Covid-19, this year’s programme does reflect the need for us all to host safe, well managed events and ensure everybody taking part can do so in an appropriate environment. I’m delighted with how many of our community groups have risen to this challenge and are hosting creative and safe activities.

The full programme of events can be found at Coventry.gov.uk/peace.

For the latest advice about Covid-19 in Coventry, including what support is available, go to coventry.gov.uk/coronavirus

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