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War dead commemorated by Birmingham ice installation

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  • World War One
media captionThe figures were left to melt on Saturday

Hundreds of people have gathered in a city square to place thousands of ice figurines in memory of those who died in World War One.

More than 5,000 figures were lined up in Chamberlain Square, Birmingham on Saturday and left to melt.

The Minimum Monument was created by Brazilian sculptor Nele Azevedo, presenting her work in England for the first time.

Azevedo and 20 volunteers made the sculptures in the past fortnight.

They were delivered in large cabinet freezers and then put in place by members of the public.

image copyrightPA
image captionThe figures represent both civilians and soldiers who died in World War One

Azevedo called the display a commemoration and celebration of the common man - not just soldiers - who died in the conflict.

image captionMore than 5,000 figures were set around Chamberlain Square in Birmingham

She said: "It takes into account the history of the defeated, the anonymous, to bring to light our mortal condition.

"I also thought about it as undertaking the occupation of public space."

image copyrightPA
image captionThe work was created by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo

Sarah Allen from Birmingham Hippodrome, which organised the event, said: "It's fascinating to see how they change as they melt.

"It's an ephemeral but forever changing visual - that's the beauty of it."

The figures were created by freezing water in moulds made from plastic bottles and then scraping the ice into shape.

image captionThe figures represent both civilians and soldiers who died in World War One
image captionThe 5,000 ice sculptures melted within two hours

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