Crowds gather for unveiling of Knife Angel sculpture in Taunton

A GIANT, knife-wielding figure loomed over crowds in Taunton this week – to raise awareness of violent crime.

They had gathered in the county town for the unveiling of the Knife Angel outside Market House, as part of a nationwide anti-violence tour.

The 27ft-tall statue, which aims to raise awareness of the negative effects of violence and aggression, weighs 3.5 tonnes and is made out of 100,000 knives and blades retrieved from amnesty bins from 43 UK police forces.

It was designed by artist Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre and will be in Taunton until the end of the month.

To mark the unveiling, a short ceremony took place, hosted by Edward James Allen, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, with Cllr Nick O’Donnell, Mayor of Taunton, and Cllr Mike Best, chair of Somerset Council.

There were speeches from Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, Somerset Council’s executive member for communities, housing and culture, Cllr Tom Deakin, leader of Taunton Town Council, Adam Fouracre from Stand Against Violence and Emma Webber, from the Barnaby Webber Foundation.

After a minute’s silence, the ceremony closed with attendees being invited to tie a Ribbon of Reflection to the railings surrounding the Knife Angel as a mark of their support.

Cllr Smith-Roberts said: “We are proud to host the Knife Angel for the month of April as part of our commitment to making Somerset a healthy and caring place for everyone.

“The Knife Angel is not only a stunning piece of art, but also a powerful symbol of hope and healing. We hope that the 30-day campaign will raise awareness about anti-conflict with schools, community groups and local businesses.

“The sculpture reminds us that violence is not inevitable, and that we can all play a role in preventing it and supporting its victims.”

Dignitaries and guests at the unveiling of the Knife Angel in Taunton. Picture: Somerset Council

Dignitaries and guests at the unveiling of the Knife Angel in Taunton. Picture: Somerset Council

Cllr Deakin added: “Taunton Town Council is proud to support the bringing of the Knife Angel to the town centre.

“Our hope is that its presence in such a prominent location will start conversations across our community raising awareness of the impact of aggression and violent crime.”

Adam Fouracre from Stand Against Violence and Emma Webber from the Barnaby Webber Foundation, whose son barnaby was tragically killed in a knife attack in Nottingham, also addressed the crowd to share their personal stories.

The sculpture will move to Weston-super-Mare on April 30, to be hosted by neighbouring North Somerset Council throughout May.

The Knife Angel installation in Somerset is supported by Somerset Council, Taunton Town Council, Avon and Somerset Police, Barnaby Webber Foundation, British Ironwork Centre, Crimestoppers, Go Create, Taunton Independent Market, Stand Against Violence and Taunton Minster.

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