Paul Cummins, the artist behind the Tower of London poppies installation, has revealed that he received death threats. The threats came by email, phone, and letter after it was announced that some of the proceeds from the £10 million raised selling the ceramic poppies would go to armed forces charities. The police have been informed.
The installation Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red commemorated those fallen in World War I (see Thousands of Ceramic Poppies Commemorate WWI in London). It consisted of some 888,246 ceramic poppies arranged to look as though spilling from above into the moat around the Tower of London. The visually striking work has been immensely popular, and was visited by politicians as well as members of the British Royal Family.
The work culminated on Armistice Day when the final poppy was planted by a 13-year-old cadet from Berkshire, before the guns were fired 21 times and a two-minute silence was observed (see Today Marks the End of London’s Striking WWI Poppy Installation).
A team of 8,000 volunteers was tasked with removing the poppies and sending them to individuals who had purchased them for £25 each. The net proceeds plus 10% of every sale generated the £10 million now being split between Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion, Combat Stress, Cobseo, Coming Home and SSAFA.
The Derbyshire artist believes the threats were made because some people felt the charities were allegedly “involved in war.”
Cummins was made an MBE for his role in making the ceramic poppies for the installation. It was designed by Tom Piper, at his Derbyshire workshop.
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