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Continuing horrors of warfare reflected in sculpture installed at St Paul's

As the UK and wider world prepare to mark next year’s centenary of ‘the war to end all war’, an artwork depicting the continuing human cost of conflict is being displayed at St Paul’s.

Sorry, Sorry Sarajevo, a life size bronze sculpture of a man holding another man, dead or badly injured, in his arms, has been placed in the Cathedral and will remain until the end of 2013.

Created by acclaimed artist, Nicola Hicks, the work was made in 1993, at the height of the Bosnian War, since when it has serve as a reminder that brutal warfare has continued to rage around the world.

The sculpture is situated at the east of the Cathedral in the Dean’s Aisle, directly opposite Henry Moore’s 1983 sculpture, Mother and Child: Hood. This juxtaposition will allow people to reflect both on the beauty of birth and relationships, and on the horror of war, murder and bereavement – an important exercise with added poignancy as we approach the centenary of the outbreak of World War One.

The Reverend Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul’s said: "The First World War claimed the lives of 16 million people and was described as ‘the war to end all war’. However, human conflict did not stop and within Europe as recently as the 1990s, the Bosnian War saw around 100,000 people killed, up to 50,000 women raped and over two million people displaced.

"Nicola Hicks’ sculpture is a powerful and affecting study of the true grief of war. It is a military, but also piercingly human, pieta. The universality of the work reminds us that such militarised violence and death are still part of our world, and that history will always record the peacemakers and reconcilers, working to end the carnage, as the blessed ones.”

Former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown, a vocal advocate of British action in the Balkans at that time and later High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: "Sarajevo is one of the greatest cities in the world. What it suffered over twenty years ago is a scar that painfully bears many lessons for not only Bosnia’s future but the world’s. I am really very pleased that Nicola Hicks’ sculpture is in St Paul’s Cathedral to help those lessons be learned.”