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Sir Anish Kapoor

The chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust today welcomed internationally renowned sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor’s involvement in marking next month’s event. 

Sir Anish has been revealed as the artist behind the candle design for the Trust’s 70 candles for 70 years project to commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27 1945.

The Trust commissioned him to design and create 70 candles to be distributed to 70 events across the UK. The 20cm candles have the wick surrounded by three wax walls and a ceiling to allow the flame to be visible only from the front.

From Stornoway to Southend-on-Sea, and from Belfast to Bristol, the candles will symbolically link commemorations taking place across the UK, binding them together with a common thread in what is a significant anniversary year.

Some of the locations have been chosen because of their historical significance, such as Lowestoft Railway Station where 200 Kindertransport refugees arrived in December 1938.

Sir Anish told The Sunday Times: “It is hard sometimes to memorialise the suffering (in the Holocaust). That’s why I think the candle is appropriate. The candle is a curious space, but it has a narrative and I hope I have captured it.”

The sculptor, who is Jewish himself, explained how he was very happy to get the commission.

“It is very important to remember the terrible things we do to human beings like murdering six million Jews in the Holocaust,” he told the newspaper.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Trust, said: “We’re delighted that Sir Anish has designed these stunning candles.

“Of 2,500 events taking place across the country to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2015, 70 have been chosen to be symbolically linked by these specially-designed candles.

“These 70 candles will represent the 70 years which have passed since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

“Each of the local Holocaust Memorial Day event organisers receiving one of Sir Anish’s beautiful candles will be honoured to be participating in this fitting act of remembrance on January 27.”

Sir Anish’s work includes the ArcelorMittal Orbit, an observation tower built in Stratford’s Olympic Park for London 2012, and Chicago’s mirrored, legume-shaped Cloud Gate, which is more commonly known as the Bean.

He was awarded the Turner Prize from the Tate in 1991 and received a knighthood in the 2013 Birthday Honours list for his services to visual arts.