Covid memorial mural ‘astonishing’, say organisers a week after London unveiling

A piece of public artwork in London expressing the nation’s coronavirus grief continues to grow.

Organisers behind the heart-festooned memorial wall on Southbank said they were pleased with the response to the artwork, which has seen around 130,000 hand-drawn hearts placed on a kilometre-long section of wall opposite the Houses of Parliament since Monday last week.

Person silhouetted against the COVID-19 Memorial Wal

There was a surge of activity over the Easter bank holiday weekend, with volunteers continuing to add thousands more hearts on Tuesday, one for each person to die with Covid-19 on their death certificate during the pandemic.

The memorial is the idea of the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign group, which has previously called for an inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

Group co-founder Matt Fowler, 33, whose 56-year-old father Ian died with coronavirus, said: “The mood here is really good, really positive.

“So many people are either bereaved, they’ve lost a loved one, or they are otherwise moved by what they’ve seen here.

“It’s obviously very personal, but I think with the time we are in now where we are beginning to come out of lockdown, people feel it is the right time to reflect, and this really seems to resonate with people.”

A man draws a heart on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall

Mr Fowler added: “Just the sheer scale of it is pretty astonishing – we’ve had around 130,000 hearts placed, although sadly there are more to add.”

He also praised Lambeth Council for its co-operation over the mural.