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Life-size bronze statue to commemorate 75th Liberation to remain under wraps

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Thursday 07 May 2020

A life-size bronze statue, which was due to be unveiled on Saturday 9th May to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Liberation, will have to remain under wraps for a while longer.

The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture commissioned the permanent commemorative artwork, known as Past, Present, Future.

Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:

"The very nature of the statue is that it is interactive, standing at ground level, with the public being encouraged to form a physical link with the 'past and present' by holding the outstretched hands. That future element of the overall tableau is so important, but cannot yet be fully enjoyed given the current circumstances. We now need to think very carefully about the timing of its installation and unveiling in the future, which will depend largely on the prevailing Public Health situation over the coming months."

The sculpture, created by the College of Further Education's in-house lecturer and renowned artist Mark Cook, depicts a Guernsey family and has only been seen in its full form by young people in the Island who were able to participate in its creation and use it as an effective learning tool. A number of "teaser" images of the original master sculpture, taken by Creative & Digital Arts students at the College, have been released over recent months, but the full extent of the piece is still being kept under wraps until its unveiling.

The Bailiff, Sir Richard Collas said:

"Having enjoyed working with the students on this legacy project, I am disappointed that we are unable to unveil the statue on May 9th as originally planned, but an unavoidable delay is of course the only sensible option. The family group signifies how the end of the occupation allowed families torn apart by war to reunite and reflects how Liberation Day has now become a family celebration. It is perhaps fitting that, on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of our liberation, it is our families that will form the centre of our Liberation Day commemorations and celebrations as we remain in our homes on May 9th this year. The statue itself reflects the positive and forward-thinking nature of the Island since the end of the war and it is that same positivity that is providing us with the strength that we need to get through these current difficult times."

Local Artist and College of Further Education Lecturer, Mark Cook said:

"I was looking forward to seeing the reaction to the statue as it was unveiled on Liberation Day and feel sad that like so many things it has had to be postponed. However like every other Guernsey family on the Island at the moment, it needs to stay in its own bubble. I'm looking forward to the day when those bubbles are allowed to burst and it will be on show to the public."

Deputy Fallaize added:

"It is with thanks to Martyn Langlois and his team at Profreight that the statue is now safely here in the Island and we can look forward to planning a fitting unveiling in the future."

 

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