Opinion: Knife Angel will stay in people’s thoughts long after it has left Chesterfield
Something very special and very important has been in Chesterfield town centre this month – the Knife Angel. Have you seen it yet?
The 27ft sculpture, made from around 100,000 bladed weapons collected in knife banks during police amnesties across the country, was installed at Rykneld Square, next to the Crooked Spire, at the start of October. It moves on from the town next Tuesday.
The monument was created by artist Alfie Bradley to raise awareness about knife crime and its impacts on people and communities.
It also serves as a beautiful memorial to all those who have died as a result of violence.
I went to see the Knife Angel a couple of weeks ago and not only was I struck by its size and appearance, it also made me think about the devastating consequences of serious crime.
I walked away from it hoping that the world becomes a more peaceful and loving place in the future.
Here at the Derbyshire Times, we have sadly covered a number of stories about wonderful local people whose lives have been cut short in the most horrendous ways in recent months.
And like all right-thinking people in this country, I was absolutely horrified at the senseless killing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, stabbed to death at his constituency surgery in Essex on Friday.
Sir David’s family issued some very important words over the weekend: “We ask people to set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all. This is the only way forward. Set aside hatred and work towards togetherness. Whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand.”
If the Knife Angel could talk, I reckon it would say similar words.
Many thousands of people have been to take a look at the Knife Angel in Chesterfield.
If it has made just one person decide to stop carrying knives and rethink their life choices, it has been a success.
Chesterfield has been very lucky to have the Knife Angel – and I’m sure it will stay in many people’s thoughts long after it has flown away from the town.