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5,000 melting ice figurines to remember civilian deaths during WWI

Hundreds gather in Birmingham city square to participate in an ice installation, remembering the innocent who lost their lives.

5,000 melting ice figurines to remember civilian deaths during WWI

It is not just soldiers being commemorated with the centenary of the First World War as hundreds gather to also remember the civilian casualties.

Thousands of innocent men and women perished during the war and Brazilian sculptor Nele Azevedo wanted to ensure they were not forgotten and their memory preserved, calling the installation a commemoration and celebration of the common man – not just soldiers – who died in the conflict “My sculptures remember people who are not remembered by other monuments.“.

The ice installation entitled the Minimum Monument, consisted of 5,000 ice figurines that were created by freezing water in moulds made from plastic bottles and then scraping the ice into shape. Nele and 20 volunteers spent two weeks making the ice people, which were then transported to Chamberlain Square in Birmingham, UK and then placed on the steps by members of the public.

The melting, ghostly figures were crowned by a red figure that appeared to drip a trail of blood down the steps.

The ice sculptures could only withstand the weather for so long, with all 5,000 melting within 2 hours.

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