Design unveiled for conscientious objectors memorial in Edinburgh

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Artist's drawing of Opposing War MemorialImage source, Peace and Justice

Conscientious objectors, and others who opposed World War One, are to be recognised in a new memorial planned for Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens.

The design will be unveiled as part of International Conscientious Objectors Day which is commemorated on 15 May.

It is hoped that the finished sculpture will be installed by next April.

Edinburgh artist Kate Ive's design will be revealed as efforts to raise funds for the next stage of the project get under way.

Her design was chosen by a consortium of civil society groups and peace campaigns following a competition for artists.

Edinburgh has 37 war memorials, eight of which are in Princes Street Gardens.

Image source, Peace and Justice

Organisers hope that the "Opposing War Memorial" will create a space for reflection on the role of individual conscience and the possibility of peace building.

The plan is to have it in place by April 2019, the centenary of the end of WW1 for conscientious objectors who were imprisoned until April 1919.

Brian Larkin, coordinator of the Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre, said: "Those who refused to fight and who opposed the First World War should be remembered.

"Their principled resistance is an important part of our history that suggests the possibility of alternatives to war through peace building and conflict resolution."

The event will launch a campaign to raise funds for the next phase of the project, including completion of technical drawings.

These will be submitted for approval, before the sculpture can be installed.

The memorial is supported by Edinburgh MP Tommy Sheppard and Alison Johnstone MSP.

The launch event will take place at Edinburgh Quaker Meeting House.

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