Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent memorial to Czech village Lidice unveiled

Sculpture being built
Image caption Nicola Winstanley of Dashyline, which has led the project, said the initials of 3,000 people had been included on the sculpture
Sculpture being built
Image caption Shaun Lee from the engineering firm said the sculpture started out as a paper model in February
Sculpture being built
Image caption It is part of a council-funded redevelopment around the bus station in Stoke-on-Trent
Finished project
Image caption The statue was finished on Friday ready to unveil at the ceremony on Saturday
Unearthed at night
Image caption The tags bearing hundreds of names are lit up at night
Sarah Nadin and Nicola Winstanley officially unveiled the structure
Image caption Between 150 and 200 people attended the ceremony on Saturday where organisers Sarah Nadin and Nicola Winstanley officially unveiled the structure

A sculpture to commemorate the role played by miners in Stoke-on-Trent to rebuild a village destroyed during World War II has been unveiled.

Lidice, in what was Czechoslovakia, was demolished by German forces in September 1942.

Local miners raised the equivalent of £1m to help rebuild the fellow coal mining community following the war.

Between 150 and 200 people atended a ceremony where the six-metre-high (19ft) sculpture, was unveiled.

Nearly 180 men were executed in Lidice and many women and children were later murdered in concentration camps.

Councillor Adrian Knapper said: "The connection between Stoke-on-Trent and Lidice is a very proud and emotional one and this sculpture will help to make sure it lives on for many years to come."

The £100,000, project, named Unearthed, has been funded by the city council.

'Good over evil'

Artist Nicola Winstanley said the sculpture was designed to tell the miners' "amazing story of generosity".

"It's a testament of what people can do and how good can overcome evil," she said.

"The shape of the structure looks like it's coming out of the ground which shows its geological mining connections."

Ms Winstanley added the "discs" on the side of the sculpture represented the tags miners wore to identify themselves.

Each tag features the initials of 3,000 members of the public who have promised to share the story of Lidice with two other people, following a promotional campaign about the project.

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