Messages of peace written on Coventry Cathedral steps in shadow of Knife Angel sculpture - The Coventry Observer

10th Aug, 2022

Messages of peace written on Coventry Cathedral steps in shadow of Knife Angel sculpture

Felix Nobes 22nd Mar, 2019 Updated: 22nd Mar, 2019

MESSAGES of peace are being written on the steps of Coventry Cathedral in the shadow of the Knife Angel sculpture – as we reveal more stunning pictures of the artwork at night.

As we reported, last Thursday (March 14) the 27-foot high Knife Angel – created as a symbol of hope amid rising violent crime – arrived in the city where it will remain until April 23.

The sculpture made of 100,000 confiscated knives – some of which were used in real attacks – was welcomed by the families of stabbing victims in the city.

It has been given a new protective fencing after complaints that ugly metal fences did not do it justice.

It is being illuminated at night in a haunting display of colours.

And messages of hope have appeared, expressing hope that the angel can encourage people to put down their knives.

One says ‘let’s stop the pain’.

Another says ‘stop all knife crime in the city’.

Among scores of messages was one that read ‘let’s hope it makes them think’.

Knife crime has been called a national blight and has affected Coventry particularly badly, prompting calls for the government to declare a ‘national emergency’.

Specials legend Neville Staple and his wife Christine ‘Sugary’ Staple, the grandparents of Fidel Glasgow, 21, stabbed to death outside Club M in the city centre, turned out to welcome the sculpture.

So did Jayda James, sister of Jaydon James, 16, fatally knifed in Wood End. She said on Facebook: “Such a wave of emotions looking at this sculpture. Love and miss you Jaydon.”

It was created by artist Alfie Bradley from the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire, which was commissioned to do the work.

He said on Twitter: “Neville Staple and Sugary Staple, so sorry to hear about your grandson Fidel yesterday. Hope we can make things change.”

The family of Daniel Kennell who was stabbed to death by his friend Ryan Preston were also there as the sculpture was erected.

His mum Mandy Bates said: “It’s beautiful but it’s also very emotional for me to see it here.

“Many of the knives in this sculpture were used in crimes, and have even take somebody’s life.

“For me, The Angel is asking, why are you doing this, and is the violence committed worth it?”

BIC and Mr Bradley teamed up with the 43 police forces across the country so that the blades they recovered could be used to bring the concept to life.

It took four years to build after permission was granted by the Home Office to collect the knives.

About a third of the knives received from police forces had blood on them and were transported in bio-hazard tubes.

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