Memorial of 150,000 hearts commemorates those lost during the pandemic

‘Like the scale of our collective loss, this memorial is going to be enormous’

The Campaign group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice has organised a memorial of nearly 150,000 hand-painted hearts to visually represent and remember every life lost to Covid-19 in the UK.

Volunteers, including many families who have lost relatives to covid, have been painting hearts on a wall opposite the Palace of Westminster since Monday. The organisers estimate it will take several days to complete the 150,000 hearts. They hope that the memorial will provide a focal point for remembrance until the Government establishes plans to create a more permanent memorial.

The National Covid Memorial Wall is on the south bank of the Thames, outside of St. Thomas’ Hospital. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, described the memorial as “remarkable” after visiting it on Monday.

Each heart painted represents an individual lost to the pandemic, the memorial is already half a kilometre long.

One volunteer, Matt Fowler, who lost their father to covid, said: “Each heart is individually hand-painted (and) utterly unique, just like the loved ones we’ve lost.

“We really hope this can become a focal point for remembering this national tragedy.

“The objective of this here today is to memorialise and to memorialise with dignity.”

The organisers of the memorial did not ask permission from Lambeth Council before volunteers began painting, but they have offered to clean the wall if requested to do so.

Image Credit: Helene Maksoud via Twitter @helsmaksoud.

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