Belfast Telegraph

Section of sea of poppies war tribute to be draped around Ulster Museum

By John Mulgrew

Work will soon get under way to drape a section of the famous poppy sculpture that stood at the Tower of London around Belfast's Ulster Museum.

Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red marked 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.

Its 888,246 ceramic poppies, one to honour every death from British and Colonial forces, filled the tower's moat between July 17 and November 11, 2014.

Sections are now touring the UK, and one called Weeping Window will be displayed at the Ulster Museum.

A request for volunteers to help plant the poppies has been successful, with the target number of helpers reached.

It's part of this year's Belfast International Arts Festival, and will run from October 14 until December 3.

National Museums Northern Ireland has applied for planning permission to allow the large, sweeping display appear to pour out of an upstairs window at the Ulster Museum and flow down to the ground at the front of the building.

Other destinations for sections of the sculpture include Cardiff and Derby.

Kirsty Atkinson, marketing manager of the Belfast International Arts Festival, said: "The appeal for volunteers went really well.

"A member of staff is now reaching out to the applicants to let them know when training will begin, what times and dates suit."

She said the festival was also seeking volunteers to help out elsewhere at the event.

The installation will take around a week of preparation before it opens to the public. Teams from the Ulster Museum are working with the artists in order to work out how to best display the sculpture.

In 2014, to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, the Ulster Museum opened a permanent modern history gallery.

The Decade of Centenaries period, from 1912 to 1922, is at the heart of the gallery in recognition of the significance of this period in shaping the future, outlook and identities of what was to become Northern Ireland.

Kim Mawhinney, head of art at National Museums Northern Ireland, said it was "delighted that this powerful and deeply moving sculpture will be coming to the Ulster Museum".

"As well as enriching Northern Ireland's cultural and artistic landscape, this spectacular piece of art will also play a role in deepening our understanding of the First World War and sense of shared history during this pivotal period," she said. "The Weeping Window will be a very special addition to our extensive Decade of Centenaries 1912-22 programme."

Artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper were both awarded MBEs in recognition of the impact the work had at the Tower of London.

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