Rolling concrete angels commemorating the destruction of Dresden in World War II

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Since Wednesday, 17 man-high concrete angels have been pushing through Dresden on roller boards. The sculptures are from a Danish artist. This is to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the destruction of the city in World War II. Tens of thousands died in waves of attack by the British and Americans in February 1945, Dresden was in ruins.

Angels or guardian spirits are common to different mythologies and religions, according to the preliminary remark on the project by the Kunsthaus Dresden. As messengers and mediators, they still reflect people’s concerns about the future and the past.

Angel – so close to people

The angels by the Danish-Norwegian artist Marit Benthe Norheim would mingle with people. Like the winged creatures of the painter Paul Klee or the angels in Wim Wenders’ film “The sky over Berlin”, they are close to people in their doubts and worries, but also in their joy and hope and the search for peace. And the angels also sound: the sound installation inside the sculptures, based on the chirping sounds of insects, is a work by the contemporary Norwegian composer Geir Johnson.

75 years of peace – vigilance demanded

The “Rolling Angels” are a project of contemporary art by the Kunsthaus Dresden as an institution of the Saxon capital on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the war destruction of Dresden in February 1945. From 13 February to 15 February 1945, the city was again the target of bombings by the Western Allies and was badly destroyed in four waves of attacks by the British Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force, killing up to 25,000 people.
Around the 13th of February there is also a reminder that “we have been living in peace for almost three quarters of a century and do not know of any war,” said Dresden Mayor Dirk Hilbert.
This is not to be taken for granted in the face of increasing hatred and racism, also towards Jewish fellow citizens: “We have to be very vigilant,” the FDP politician warned, according to the news agency. The city society will not allow this – everyone should be involved, it said.

The installation “Rolling Angels” runs until February 16 in Dresden’s cityscape and is accompanied by the Kunsthaus exhibition “Requiem” on current perspectives of grief and remembrance.

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