Burning date for Covid memorial in Bedworth announced

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The Sanctuary national memorial
Image caption,
The national coronavirus memorial is under construction and will open on 21 May

A memorial to victims of the Covid-19 pandemic will be burned to the ground shortly after its completion.

Work is underway on the 20m (65ft) wooden structure, called Sanctuary, which pays homage to those who died after testing positive for coronavirus.

It is being put up at the Miner's Welfare Park in Bedworth, Warwickshire, and members of the public will be invited to adorn the walls with letters or mementos when it opens from 21 May.

It will be set alight a week later.

Image caption,
Sanctuary is being built in collaboration with members of the local community of North Warwickshire

The memorial was designed by artist David Best, known for his large-scale intricately carved structures at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada Desert.

It is being built in collaboration with members of the local community in North Warwickshire.

More than 177,000 people have died in the UK since the outbreak of the virus.

Image caption,
The monument will be burned to the ground a week after opening

"It's a rising temple to the grief and loss that people have experienced over the last two years," said Helen Marriage, from the memorial's producers, Artichoke.

She continued: "The structure has to to do justice to people's emotions and letting it go is cathartic.

"There isn't any other way to do that than to burn it."

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