Peace Doves boost Liverpool economy by £1.4m

Created by sculptor and artist Peter Walker, Peace Doves went on display in Liverpool Cathedral a few weeks ago and has already attracted a huge number of people. Tony McDonough reports

Peace Doves
Peace Doves installation at Liverpool Cathedral. Picture by Gareth Jones


More than 60,000 people have visited Liverpool Cathedral’s Peace Doves display in its first month offering an estimated boost to the city centre economy of £1.4m.

Created by sculptor and artist Peter Walker, the exhibition features more than 18,000 paper doves suspended from the roof of the Cathedral, accompanied by a soundscape from composer David Harper.

It is the latest in a series of popular, art installations to be staged at the Cathedral over recent years. In 2018, over 60,000 visitors, saw Museum of the Moon, a 23ft replica of the moon and in 2019, a further 180,000 came to see ‘Gaia’, a giant earth. Both artworks were created by renowned British artist Luke Jerram.

Dean of Liverpool, Dr Sue Jones said: “When we re-opened to visitors in May, we wanted to come back with something which our worshippers and visitors could enjoy and experience as a small gift to the city. It is great to see that the Peace Doves has struck a chord with so many in the first few weeks.

Peace Doves
More than 60,000 people have already seen the Peace Doves. Picture by Gareth Jones


“It was particularly important that we put on this installation on now, since so many thousands of people during the past year or so had taken the time to write their hopes and prayers on the wings of the doves and those words at this time have undoubtedly added to the poignancy and beauty of this unique installation.”

Peace Doves runs until August, 30 with a series of further special events, including talks, music, yoga and the chance to dine under the doves. As well as Peace Doves, visitors to the cathedral can also view the return of the popular Angel Wings moving light projection, created by Luxmuralis.

Peter Sandman, head of visitor economy, Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “It’s wonderful to see how Peace Doves has captured the public’s imagination in its first few weeks.

“Liverpool Cathedral is one of the city region’s major visitor assets and this installation clearly demonstrates the cathedral’s continued importance and appeal as we move towards recovery.”

Another new, interactive art installation on display is Peace to Ourselves. Visitors are asked to place a button inside the shape of a giant dove and take a moment to contemplate the past year and remember those who have lost their lives.

There are also a series of Quiet Hours for those who might find crowds daunting, for example, someone who has an autism spectrum condition or sensory processing differences. Due to COVID regulations, bookings must be made in advance to view the installation. Click here to book a slot.

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