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Barnaby Webber: Knife Angel sculpture on display in Taunton

Knife angel sculpture in Taunton
The sculpture is on display in Taunton until 30 April [BBC]

A sculpture made of more than 100,000 knives has gone on display in the home town of a man who was fatally stabbed.

The Knife Angel will be outside the Market House in Taunton until 30 April as part of its national tour to raise awareness of knife crime.

Barnaby Webber, who was stabbed in the Nottingham attacks on 13 June, lived in Taunton before starting university.

His mother, Emma Webber, said there was a "particular poignancy" in seeing the sculpture in his home town.

"It's the first opportunity we've had to speak about Barnaby in Taunton," she added.

"It's a horrible reason to be given this opportunity to have a voice, but something we're trying to use for good."

Image of Emma and David Webber giving a speech in Taunton
Barnaby Webber's parents, Emma and David, attended the unveiling of the statue in Taunton [BBC]

Mr Webber and Grace O'Malley-Kumar, both 19, were killed in the early hours of 13 June 2023, along with school caretaker Ian Coates, 65.

Valdo Calocane, 32, admitted manslaughter and was given an indefinite hospital order after he was found to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the attacks.

Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley-Kumar
Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley-Kumar were all killed in the Nottingham attacks in June 2023 [BBC]

The contemporary sculpture, created by Alfie Bradley, is made up of more than 100,000 confiscated, blunted blades.

It has toured the country as part of a National Youth Anti-Violence Tour.

The Webber family and the Taunton-based charity Stand Against Violence welcomed the arrival of the sculpture at the official unveiling.

Adam Fouracre founded the charity after his brother was murdered.

Speaking at the unveiling, Mr Fouracre said: "We are privileged to be able to play a part in this event and it is inspiring to see this fantastic piece of art installed in our town.

"Not only does the Angel act as a catalyst for turning the tide on violent and aggressive behaviour, but it also acts as a beautiful memorial designed to celebrate those lives who have been lost through these violent and thoughtless actions."

Ms Webber added: "It shows these awful tragedies can happen to any family, anywhere.

"Its now all about education. You have to get to the core of a community to be able to educate people about this epidemic of knife crime.

"The angel is a visual representation of that."

Image of Emma Webber giving a speech in front of the Knife Angel
Emma Webber said there was a 'particular poignancy' in seeing the sculpture in Taunton [BBC]

While the sculpture is in Taunton, Somerset Council and the town council are supporting and encouraging a 30-day campaign of anti-conflict awareness by working with schools, community groups and local businesses.

A Somerset Council spokesperson said: "We fully support the aims of the sculpture and strongly condemn all forms of violence.

"We hope the presence of the Knife Angel in Somerset during April will help raise awareness of an important national issue."


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