Indian Ocean Tsunami Memorial opens at Museum

06 July 2011

A memorial to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami opens today at the Natural History Museum in a ceremony attended by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall.

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales lays a wreath at the Tsunami Memorial

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales lays a wreath at the Tsunami Memorial

The Memorial is the culmination of years of work by Tsunami Support UK (TSUK) and was made possible thanks to a £550,000 grant from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The 115-tonne 3.7-metre single granite monolith is in the Museum’s Darwin Centre Courtyard and is open to the public from today. 

The Memorial design reflects the views and feelings of UK survivors and bereaved families. It is the product of months of dialogue between them and the design team of Carmody Groarke and M3 Consulting.

Michael Holland, Chairman of the Memorial Project Board, said, ‘The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami was one of the worst natural disasters in living memory, hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. The impact of the devastation was felt across the world.

remembers these 155 British people who perished in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

The Tsunami Memorial remembers the 155 British people who perished in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

‘This huge, singular geographical fragment will create a powerful reminder for generations to come of this momentous event within the Earth’s natural history.

‘Its purpose is to stop people forgetting. Within this new public space, the Memorial also offers a place for more quiet contemplation.

‘We are immensely grateful to the DCMS for funding the memorial and to the Natural History Museum for making space available in its grounds – we can think of no better place to remember the lives of the UK family members and the over 225,000 others who perished in the Tsunami.’

Museum Director Dr Michael Dixon said, ‘It is fitting that the Natural History Museum is home to this impressive new Memorial.  An important part of our mission is to make sense of the natural world and I hope this Memorial will not only bring comfort to those who lost loved ones in the Tsunami but also be a reminder to us all of the powerful and sometimes destructive force of nature.’

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