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Large sculpture of Virgin Mary unveiled at Lincoln Cathedral

A special seven-foot sculpture of the Virgin Mary goes on display in Lincoln Cathedral from May 31.

The sculpture is one of the largest works commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln since The Reformation in the 16th century.

The cathedral is dedicated under the Blessed Virgin Mary’s name, and the sculpture depicts her seated with Christ surrounded by a vesica, representing his divinity.

The sculpture was made by liturgical artist Aidan Hart, who has work on display in over 20 countries, many of which are placed in cathedrals and monasteries.

He has 25 years experience in carving and is an ordained Reader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Britain.

He aims to create such art that manifests the world transfigured in Christ, in accordance with the Byzantine icon tradition.

The sculpture was made by liturgical artist Aidan Hart, and took over three years to complete. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
The sculpture was made by liturgical artist Aidan Hart, and took over three years to complete. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The figure took over three years to complete, and work continued on the statue this week in the cathedral itself, adding colour to the stone.

It weighs 1.5 tonnes, sitting on a 20cm high plinth, and was mostly carved by hand from a three-tonne block of limestone, sourced from Great Ponton Quarry in Lincolnshire.

The work will be dedicated by the Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, during Choral Evensong on May 31, at the Feast of the Visitation.

It will be a service attended by representatives from different denominations of the Christian Church in Lincolnshire who have contributed towards this project.

The Dean of Lincoln, the Very Revd Philip Buckler, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome this significant work of art into the Cathedral to play its part in stimulating prayerful contemplation in our busy and frantic world.

“The Cathedral is dedicated in the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln, and it is good to have this sculpture to remind us of the way God uses his creation to express his loving purposes for all his children.

“This sculpture will draw many to reflect upon the obedience and trust that Mary displayed when called to be part of God’s redeeming work.”