Wednesday, December 8, 2021

City honors Covid heroes with permanent sculpture of key workers

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In terms of sculpture, it will feature an unusual range of characters – including a garbage collector, a nurse, a teacher, and a caregiver.

One of the first permanent memorials in the country to the unsung heroes of the coronavirus pandemic is due to be unveiled in Barnsley later this month.

The seven-figure bronze piece – including a police officer, an elderly man and a young girl – honors those who have been on the front lines in the fight against Covid-19.

“With this work, we are paying tribute to the incredible work of our key collaborators and the common people who have bonded a community,” said sculptor Graham Ibbeson.

“We literally put these common workers on a pedestal, recognizing their extraordinary efforts, sacrifices and skills in protecting our community and giving us hope for the future.”

The line “Barnsley’s fierce love will keep you in her heart forever” by local poet Ian McMillan is engraved on the base.

The words were previously projected from the South Yorkshire City Central Library on Valentine’s Day.

The £ 210,000 sculpture – funded by Barnsley Council – will be officially unveiled in the new Glass Works Square on November 22nd in a ceremony led by former Archbishop of York Lord Sentamu.

More than 900 people have died of Covid-19 in Barnsley, numbers show.

Council Chairman Sir Steve Houghton said the pandemic continues to affect everyone and urged the people of the city to attend the opening ceremony and “reflect on those we have lost who work so tirelessly in our communities”.

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