Manchester

Manchester Arena attack: Archive of tributes 'amazing to see'

Archived balloons and candles left in Manchester in tribute to bomb victims Image copyright Dan Hett
Image caption Mr Hett said seeing the items boxed up "hammered home the scale of the outpouring"

Seeing an "amazing" archive of tributes to those who died in the Manchester Arena attack has "hammered home the scale of the outpouring", a victim's brother has said.

Dan Hett went to the archive, held in Manchester Art Gallery's basement, on the second anniversary of the bombing.

His brother Martyn was one of 22 victims of the 22 May 2017 attack.

He said the thousands of candles, balloons, cuddly toys and other items had been "archived so perfectly".

He added that it was an "honour and privilege" to be able to view the archive, which was "amazing to see".

Image copyright Dan Hett
Image caption People left their running numbers and medals from 2017's Great Manchester Run
Image copyright Dan Hett
Image caption Burnt-out candles were all collected and archived

Twenty-two people died and hundreds were injured in the suicide bombing, which happened as people left an Ariana Grande gig.

About 10,000 items were collected from St Ann's Square after the area became a focal point for people in the city to reflect and lay their tributes.

The items were in place for over two weeks before being moved.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Thousands of items were left in St Ann's Square in tribute to the attack's victims

The collection has been recorded in a digital archive but Mr Hett said he was "just glad" the physical archive exists.

"They made the decision almost immediately to capture everything - and have done so really sensitively - and that was the important part.

"Long term... there's an intention to put parts of it in front of the public, but what that looks like, I've no idea yet and neither do they.

"From a personal standpoint, it really just hammered home the scale of the outpouring at the time [and] it was an absolute honour and privilege to get to see it."

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Media captionManchester Arena bomb victims remembered

He tweeted his thanks to the "sensitive custodians" and said it was "amazing to see".

Only the floral tributes which were left in the square were not archived, though they were used to make compost to nurture 28 trees planted between the arena and the square to mark the first anniversary.

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