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Coventry Cathedral is open as normal today
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Sun 12:30pm–3:00pm

Using an act of violence, to form friendship

A creative, reconciling response to vandalism

On 23rd January 2020, vandals smashed an life-size glass engraving that was part of the West Window. One of the sixty engravings which took artist John Hutton ten years to complete, it was smashed in a moment.

The window depicted the Angel with the Eternal Gospel, mentioned in Revelation 14:6. The Dean said that the smashing of the Angel "made a devastating sound as it resonated around our cathedral". But he also said: "We seek a creative response to this act of violence and further our 60-year tradition of working with artists as part of our reconciliation work."

A new work of was installed to temporarily stand in place of the vandalised window, until it could be retored. It is the work of artist Anne Petters. Anne comes from Coventry's twin city, Dresden, which also suffered horrific bombing during WWII. Her work is formed of two parts, and the first, Lichtung-Break-in, is a piece of broken window glass from the West Screen.

She said it "both magnifies and projects on to the now blank window where the Angel of the Eternal Gospel used to be". The other part, called Lichtung - White Drift, is located nearby.

The West Screen's engravings were created by John Hutton and are made up of 66 separate images. When he died in 1978 his ashes were buried at the foot of the window.

Glass artist Ms Petters said she was "overwhelmed" when she first saw the West Screen in 2016 and said it "feels dangerous, almost threatening, but fragile at the same time, an attribute which is always inherent in the material glass". She said it was a "huge honour" to be asked to display her work in the cathedral.

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