Wiltshire

Thousands of birds 'flown' in cathedral after nerve agent attack

Les Colombes, Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption More than 2,500 white origami doves have been installed in Salisbury Cathedral, following the nerve agent attack in the city just over two months ago

Thousands of origami doves have been installed at Salisbury Cathedral to signify peace following the nerve agent attack in the city.

The installation comprises 2,500 messages folded into bird shapes suspended along the length of the nave.

The city's community groups have also been encouraged to contribute their own thoughts and fold their own doves.

Artist Michael Pendry said: "In their unity they stand for a fundamental human right to peace and freedom."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The work is entitled "Les Colombes", which is French for "the doves"
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Multimedia artist Michael Pendry, has encouraged people around the world to write messages and fold them into doves for the installation
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Exhibited in Munich, Jerusalem, London, San Francisco and Berlin, Mr Pendry said he wants the flock to "grow, from place to place, from country to country, and across all borders"

The installation has been organised in the wake of the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city in March.

The pair were discovered unconscious on a bench in the city centre after being exposed to the toxic nerve agent Novichok.

Since then, the city has seen a fall in visitor numbers and revenue and traders have been hit by a drop in sales.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Dr Robert Titley, from the cathedral, said the doves were a "symbol of the hope that lies beyond darkness" following the Salisbury attack
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A community project has also been launched where paper doves will be made and displayed in windows across the city to show its "resilience in response to the nerve agent attack"
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Les Colombes opens to the public on Saturday 12 May and runs until 22 July at Salisbury Cathedral

Les Colombes has been exhibited in Munich, Jerusalem, London, San Francisco and Berlin.

At each location Mr Pendry encourages community groups and individuals to fold their own doves, which he then includes in future installations.

"Although the doves are folded by different people in their unity they stand for a fundamental human right - the right to peace and freedom," he said.

"May the flock of doves grow, from place to place, from country to country, and across all borders."

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