Blumenfeld sculpture donated to The Woolf Institute

image captionTree of Life: Encounter by Helaine Blumenfeld during its installation at the Woolf Institute

A Cambridge institute has taken delivery of a massive marble sculpture.

The artwork, by Helaine Blumenfeld, is made out of Italian marble and took a year to complete.

Entitled 'Tree of Life: Encounter', the 3m (10ft) high work bears three giant intertwined leaves.

Its new home is the courtyard of The Woolf Institute, which is affiliated to the city's university and aims to encourage tolerance between people of all beliefs.

image copyrightWoolf Institute
image captionBefore and after: It took sculptress Heliane Blumenfeld a year to create the work in Italy

'Powerful statement'

Ms Blumenfeld, 74, who has lived in the Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester since 1970, and has donated the artwork for free said the sculpture is inspired by the interfaith work at the institute.

"It is a powerful statement of the struggle for unity, with three strands joining together at the base and moving upward through dissonance and chaos to a beautiful flowering of hope," she said.

The biblical inscription on the foundation stone reads "A threefold cord is not easily broken," taken from Ecclesiastes.

image copyrightWoolf Institute
image captionSculptress Helaine Blumenfeld created the piece free of charge - as she believed in the Institute's ethos

Institute director, Dr Edward Kessler, said: "Its message is central to the work of The Woolf Institute as encounter is key to fostering understanding between religions."

American-born Ms Blumenfeld works can be seen in Canary Wharf and Hyde Park - with other pieces in place around Cambridge and in the university's Clare College grounds.

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