Knife Angel officially unveiled in Bradford | Bradford Telegraph and …
The Knife Angel – a monument made from more than 100,000 blades seized from police forces across the country – was officially shown to the public for the first time outside City Park on Monday morning.
A large sheet covering the 27 foot high statue was removed at 11am and the sculpture will stand in Centenary Square throughout April.
A member of the public had already spotted The Knife Angel travelling into Bradford on the back of a truck on Rooley Lane last Friday.
The unveiling marked the Bradford Youth Justice Service (YJS) commencing its anti-violence awareness month.
A large crowd was in attendance, which included special guests such as the Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Martin Love and Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin.
Clive Knowles, Chairman of the British Ironworks, who originally commissioned the building of the sculpture, spoke at the unveiling.
He thanked Bradford for hosting the statue – the 36th town or city to do so – and showing willingness to tackle the issue of knife crime and violence.
Mr Knowles added: “Many towns and many cities, including London, are very fearful of addressing problems in society, blights of violence, and they find it very difficult to actually grasp the nettle and to talk about it openly.
“I’m here to salute Bradford for being courageous for dealing with these problems first hand, on the front foot and I respectfully thank you from the depths of our hearts.”
The YJS team were also present at the ceremony, alongside partners from West Yorkshire Police, Probation Services, Bradford Health Care Partnership and local faith leaders.
Mr Knowles presented partners involved in Bradford’s hosting of the Knife Angel with National Youth Anti-Violence certificates following his speech, recognising their efforts in assisting with the monument’s tour.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford thanked British Ironworks for creating this powerful statue – which is also known as the National Monument for Anti-Violence – and encouraged the people of Bradford to come and see it.
He said: “I’m delighted that Bradford has been chosen and has stepped up to the plate to host The Knife Angel for the next month.
“It really is such an impressive sculpture.
“The Council is encouraging community groups and faith leaders to come visit the sculpture and take part in the anti-violence month activities.”
The YJS will be visiting schools and delivering assemblies to over 12,000 children, all of whom will be made anti-violence champions.
A series of art competitions are also running, where budding artists can submit drawings, paintings, sculptures or pieces of writing that promote a message of peace for the chance to win shopping vouchers, art supplies, and have their work displayed in City Library.
An online anti-violence conference will be held on April 18, aimed at professionals working with those who are at risk of violence, those involved in violence or those attempting to educate against violence.
Speakers confirmed include Christina Gabbitas, author of “No More Knifes or County Lines”, as well as experts from Bradford University’s DNA profiling and Crime Scene Investigation Advancements teams, a Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) trauma surgeon, and a participant in West Yorkshire’s Restorative Justice Programme.
The University of Bradford is also hosting a series of podcasts on the theme of anti-violence and knife crime.
The Mayor of West Yorkshire said: “It’s fantastic that Bradford is hosting the Knife Angel to support greater debate and action on knife crime.
“This is a poignant reminder of the issues we all face in tackling serious violence and how we must work together in partnership to address it.
“This is an opportunity for our young people and the wider community to learn more about this and I’d urge people to come along and see this breath-taking sculpture for themselves.”
The Knife Angel was created by sculptor Alfie Bradley at the British Ironworks Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire and has been displayed in more than 30 towns and cities across the country since 2018.
- ^ spotted The Knife Angel travelling into Bradford on the back of a truck on Rooley Lane last Friday (www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk)
- ^ Yorkshire (www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk)