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Tower of London poppies: Artist Paul Cummins 'received death threats'

Poppy display at the Tower of London Image copyright PA
Image caption The installation was planned to culminate on Armistice Day

The artist behind the Tower of London poppy exhibition received death threats, he has revealed.

Paul Cummins received threats by email, phone and letter over plans for services charities to benefit from the £10m raised, he told the Sunday Times.

The Derbyshire artist said he believed it was because some people felt the charities were "involved in war".

Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red saw 888,246 ceramic poppies "planted" in the moat.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The last poppy was planted by cadet Harry Hayes, 13, from Reading Blue Coat School

Each poppy represented one British or colonial military death during World War One.

The installation culminated on Armistice Day when the final poppy was planted by 13-year old cadet Harry Hayes from Berkshire, before the guns were fired 21 times and a two-minute silence was observed.

Mr Cummins said: "The threats came, I suppose, because they felt that the money was going to charities which in some way were involved in war."

He added that police had been called in over the matter.

Image copyright Paul Cummins
Image caption The poppies were individually hand-made in Derby

It is thought about five million people visited Blood-Swept Lands and Seas of Red, the title of which was inspired by a line from the will of a Derbyshire serviceman who died in Flanders.

He had described "the blood-swept lands and seas of red, where angels fear to tread".

The following day a team of 8,000 volunteers started removing the 888,246 poppies and sending them to the people who bought them for £25 each.

The net proceeds plus 10% of every sale generated the £10m being shared between Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion, Combat Stress, Cobseo, Coming Home and SSAFA.

Mr Cummins also told the paper he was working on a new British-based project involving ceramic tulips, although the location is yet to be disclosed.

He added that he had had offers to work on projects elsewhere in Europe as well as another "distant part of the world".


World War One Centenary

Image copyright Getty Images

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