Salisbury Cathedral up for museum award after powerful art installation makes an impression

Michael Pendry's Les Colombes at Salisbury Cathedral(Photo: Salisbury Cathedral)

A powerful art installation symbolising reconciliation and peace at Salisbury Cathedral has caught the eye of the Museum and Heritage Awards.

Salisbury Cathedral provided the impressive setting for Michael Pendry's Les Colombes and the accompanying community project #SalisburyCityofDoves. 

The origami paper doves were originally installed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One but took on a powerful new meaning after the Salisbury poisonings last year. 

The exhibition has secured a nomination for the cathedral in the Temporary or Touring Exhibition category of the Museum and Heritage Awards. 

It is going up against the Science Museum for its Tim Peake Spacecraft Tour and Liverpool Museum for its special exhibition on China's First Emporer and the Terracotta Warriors.

Others on the shortlist are the Museum of London, The Foundling Museum and The Florence Nightingale Museum, although they will have to wait until the awards ceremony in London May 15 to find out who has won.

The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Rev Nicholas Papadopulos said: "It is amazing to be in such illustrious company and we are delighted. Les Colombes is a powerful installation with a universal message.

"From the World War One Centenary, which the doves were originally intended to mark, to the shocking events in Salisbury in 2018, the message of reconciliation, peace, and resilience embodied in the doves is potent."

It has been a good week for England's cathedrals after Lichfield Cathedral picked up two awards in the local Staffordshire What's On Tourism Awards.

It was crowned the Tourist Attraction of the Year for the second year in a row and also picked up Event of the Year for a third year running after putting on a light and sound projection piece called Cathedral Illuminated in partnership with the Luxmuralis artist group.

Lincoln Cathedral also won Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Lincolnshire Tourism Excellence Awards while Wells Cathedral was awarded bronze in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in the Access and Inclusivity category.