This Southbank Mural Pays Tribute To The Victims Of COVID-19 In The UK

By Maire Rose Connor Last edited 7 months ago
This Southbank Mural Pays Tribute To The Victims Of COVID-19 In The UK
Image: Matt Brown

Thousands upon thousands of pink and red hearts adorn the third-of-a-mile stretch of the South Bank opposite the Palace of Westminster. Each one represents a different life lost to coronavirus in the UK since the pandemic reached these shore last year.

This is the National COVID Memorial Wall, an immense mural lovingly hand-painted by the bereaved friends and relatives of some of the 150,000+ victims of COVID-19.

Some of these love hearts bear the names of the loved ones lost. Others simply read 'Dad', 'Nanny' or 'Mum'. Many are also blank. Together, these hearts — the number is intended to reach 150,000 eventually — throw the sheer scale of devastation wrought by the pandemic into sharp relief.

The National COVID Memorial Wall is a grassroots project, spearheaded by the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice and brought to life entirely by volunteers.

Since its creation, leading religious figures including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Imam Kazeem Fatai, and Rabbi Daniel Epstein have visited the memorial to pay their respects. The mural organisers have also invited Boris Johnson along to meet some of those who worked to create it — though at the time of writing the Prime Minister is yet to publically respond.

To see the National COVID Memorial Wall for yourself, head to the part of the Albert Embankment next to St Thomas' Hospital. Alternatively, you can donate to the organisers' crowdfunding page here and help safeguard the future of the memorial.

Last Updated 23 April 2021