Sculpture at St Paul's captures horror of war

Sorry, Sorry Sarajevo by Nicola Hicks

A new sculpture depicting the devastating human cost of war has gone on display at St Paul's Cathedral.

The artwork, 'Sorry, Sorry Sarajevo', is a life-sized bronze sculpture of a man holding another man languishing in his arms.

It was created by Nicola Hicks in 1993 at the height of the Bosnian War and is being displayed in the cathedral as a reminder of the brutal warfare still blighting parts of the world.

The sculpture has been deliberately placed directly opposite Henry Moore's 1983 sculpture, Mother and Child: Hood, to stimulate reflection on the contrast between birth and relationships, and the horrors and devastation of war.

Sorry, Sorry Sarajevo will remain on display until the end of 2013 and its display comes as the nation and the wider world prepares to mark the centenary of the First World War next year.

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."

Its display at the cathedral has been welcomed by 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.

He 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."