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Controversial Bali bombing memorial gets green light

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These proposals for a new architect-designed memorial to commemorate the victims of the Bali bombings of 2002 have just been given the go-ahead, a week before the third anniversary of the atrocity.

The globe sculpture was a collaboration between artist Gary Breeze and architect Susannah Miller, whose brother Dan was lost in the blasts, which claimed 25 British lives and killed a total of 202 people.

The memorial will sit in a high-profile location close to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Treasury Buildings and Cabinet War Rooms - near St James's Park in central London.

The decision to approve the memorial came from Westminster City Council last Friday. It follows months of wrangling between the council and those behind the sculpture, the UK Bali Bombings Victims Group.

In an initial planning meeting on 28 July, in the wake of London's own recent terrorist attacks, Westminster councillor Angela Hooper had initially felt that the memorial might be for all victims of terrorism.

But as the political climate cooled it was decided that these proposals should be approved.

Some 202 images of doves in flight, each of a unique design, will be carved into the globe. Close to this will be a wall with the names of all the victims killed in the explosions inscribed in it and a seat.

The wording of the memorial wall will read: 'In memory of the 202 innocent people killed by an act of terrorism in Kuta, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, on 12th October 2002.'

The wording around the base of the globe will quote the Irish poet Brendan Kennelly and reads: 'You were robbed of life. Your spirit enriches ours.'

by Rob Sharp

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