Chance to get involved in national Covid memorial in Bedworth

Unique structure will stand for a week before being set alight

The unique structure will stand for a week before being set alight

The countdown is under way to the building of an extraordinary memorial to those lost to Covid.

It is known as Sanctuary and having been postponed earlier in the year it will now be built in the Miners' Welfare Park in Bedworth in May - to offer both a moment to remember loved ones but also to act as a beacon of hope to mark the rebirth, recovery and regeneration of the whole community.

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A spokesperson said: "Sanctuary will stand as an unforgettable temporary structure and space of healing, built by the local community to commemorate the nation’s loss during Covid. Artichoke, the UK’s leading producers of extraordinary live events, will bring their unique approach to public art to the region, inviting people to come together in the spirit of remembrance and hope."

People will be encouraged to take photographs and mementos of loved ones, such as photographs, cards and letters to leave inside the structure to be ceremonially burned in an act of remembrance - though anything made of materials that are toxic when burned, such as plastic, will be removed. Visitors can also write messages on the structure.

Sanctuary will be created in association with Coventry-based company Imagineer and the producers are calling for people from the area to get involved both for the build and for the event itself. Support also comes from Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Warwickshire County Council, DCMS Culture Recovery Fund and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Through Artichoke’s continuing partnership with American artist David Best, people will work with him and his crew to build an intricately carved wooden structure in the park, an appropriate choice with Bedworth being known through its Remembrance events as the town that never forgets.

Best is known for his soaring temples, built at Burning Man - the huge event in the States - and elsewhere, as quiet places for contemplation and reconciliation.

Sanctuary will stand open to all for seven days from May 21-28 , offering a space to remember those we have lost and everyone impacted by Covid. The spectacular finale event on Saturday, May 28 will see Sanctuary set alight to be that beacon of hope.

Artichoke is offering two key areas where people can get involved - on paid placements to help with the build phase from May 5-19 or as guardians to welcome people to the artwork between May 21-28.

Details of both roles are available by clicking here.

The burning of Sanctuary will take place at sunset on Saturday, May 28, expected to take place at about 9pm. It is a ticketed event and for full details of that and further information, there is a dedicated website here.