Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Memorial plan for tsunami victims

A memorial is to be built for the UK victims of the 2004 tsunami
A memorial is to be built for the UK victims of the 2004 tsunami

The UK victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami will be remembered with a memorial in the grounds of the Natural History Museum, the charity Tsunami Support UK said.

Survivors and the families of the 151 Britons who died in the disaster will be consulted over the design of the memorial, which it is hoped will be put in place next year.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) gave a £550,000 grant to the project.

Michael Holland, chairman of the Memorial Project Board at Tsunami Support UK, said: "We are delighted that a fitting memorial to the UK victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami is being built.

"We are immensely grateful to DCMS for the funding and to the Natural History Museum for making the space available in its wonderful grounds for the memorial."

Mr Holland, who lost his mother, wife and daughter in the disaster, added: "The 2004 tsunami was one of the worst natural disasters in living memory. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives and the impact of the devastation was felt across the world.

"We believe the gardens in the front of the new Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum is the perfect place to build a memorial that reflects such a disaster and remembers the lives of the 151 UK citizens who perished in it.

"The design of the memorial will reflect the views and feelings of bereaved UK families, survivors and all those affected by the tsunami - there will be extensive discussion and consultation between those affected and the design team.

"We expect the memorial to be completed sometime next year."

A museum spokeswoman said: "The Natural History Museum has deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and has been in discussion with the Humanitarian Assistance Unit at DCMS and representatives of Tsunami Support UK regarding a memorial within the museum grounds."

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