The 20ft tall sculpture, created from over 100,000 confiscated and surrendered blades, was due to go on display in the city centre from today (Monday 30 March) until Friday 1 May as part of a nationwide anti violence tour.
However, with the country effectively on lockdown and residents and businesses ordered to follow social distancing measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, it has been decided to postpone the visit of the Knife Angel.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Clearly, it was not going to be possible to bring the Knife Angel to Wolverhampton as planned this month given the current national emergency and the social distancing measures which individuals and families are required to follow at this present time.
“Right now, everyone must concentrate their efforts on helping the country deal with the national coronavirus emergency, and that means staying home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.”
The social distancing measures require that people stay at home and should only leave the house to: shop for basic necessities like food and medicine as infrequently as possible; for one form of exercise a day, alone or with members of your household; for any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and to travel to and from work, where work absolutely cannot be done from home, or to take children to and from school if parents are classed as 'critical workers'.
The Government has ordered non essential businesses and public spaces to be closed and banned all public gatherings of more than 2 people, except for members of the same household.
Created by the British Ironwork Centre and weighing some 4.5 tonnes, the Knife Angel is a powerful symbol of hope and cohesion, and a salient warning of the dangers of carrying and using bladed weapons. It aims to highlight the negative effects of violent and aggressive behaviour and to help bring about social change.
Councillor Jaspal added: "It's important that we do all we can to get the message across that violence needs to stop, and we are working closely with colleagues at the British Ironwork Centre to see whether it will be possible for the Knife Angel to come to Wolverhampton at a later date.
“We hope that having the opportunity to display the Knife Angel in our city at some point in the future will not only help continue to turn the tide against knife crime and all other forms of violent behaviour, but also enable us to remember those whose lives have been lost or irrevocably changed as a result of violent and thoughtless actions.”
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at NHS - Advice for everyone.