Knife Angel travelling to Birmingham to spread anti-knife crime message
Shropshire's Knife Angel sculpture, made from thousands of knives, is set to arrive in Birmingham on the latest leg of its UK tour.
The Knife Angel will be placed in the city's Victoria Square where it will stand for the next four weeks.
Thousands of people will pass the thought-provoking sculpture during the next month, which was created in response to the surge in knife crime in the UK.
It is due to arrive in Birmingham city centre tomorrow after being moved from Coventry where it was outside the cathedral over Easter.
The impressive 27ft Knife Angel was created by artist Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry. Mr Bradley has received glowing praise for his efforts to raise awareness of the devastating effects of knife crime.
The arrival of the Knife Angel in Birmingham will be particularly poignant as the city has been rocked by more more than 250 stabbings already this year amid a wave of violence. The second city was prioritised to host the creation ahead of others following the shocking rise in stabbings.
Primary school teacher Ryan Wane, 26, was the latest stab victim in the city over the weekend when he was seriously injured during a mugging.
There have also been a number of attacks in the Black Country this year. Four people were stabbed in two separate incidents near the University of Wolverhampton last week. A 42-year-old man was stabbed several times in the stomach in Coventry Street, Stourbridge, in the early hours of Saturday, April 27.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has been involved in organising the visit to the city. He was struck by the impact of the sculpture during a visit to the Ironworks Centre and believes it can be used to help spread the message about reducing knife crime.
Mr Bradley used tens of thousands of knives confiscated by or surrendered to police forces across the country and described it as a "monument against violence and aggression". Crowds have flocked to the sculpture during its stay in Coventry, where it has proved incredibly popular.
Mr Jamieson will be joined by Birmingham city council leader Ian Ward and British Ironwork Centre chairman Clive Knowles for the launch event in the city tomorrow morning.
The Knife Angel has also visited Liverpool and Hull and will continue its tour of the country after leaving Birmingham.
Mr Bradley said: "The angel will be put up in Birmingham, Victoria Square on Wednesday for about a month for those that want to see it."
Mr Knowles said: "We are delighted that the Knife Angel will take centre stage in the UK's second largest city.
"We are now having enquires from cities right across the UK who want to get involved and host the Knife Angel."
Leeds, Cleveland, Bristol, Worcester, Hereford and Wrexham are among other places to have expressed an interest in hosting the sculpture.