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RCP unveils COVID-19 memorial sculpture

The RCP has unveiled a sculpture to remember doctors who died having worked in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The sculpture, featuring a cascade of facemasks, is intended to honour physicians and provide a point of reflection for all those affected by the pandemic.

The unveiling was carried out by RCP fellow and chief medical officer for England, Professor Sir Christopher Whitty.

Set in the medicinal garden of the RCP in London, the ten-foot-high memorial was sculpted by Nicholas Dimbleby. ‘Shield Totem’ consists of three cast bronze face masks mounted on a fluted marble base with the Latin inscription ‘MEMENTO MEDICORVM QVI LABORANTES IN COVID MMXIX MORTVI SVNT’ - 'to those that have died from the COVID 2019 pandemic.’

The memorial was funded by a generous donation from The Jerwood Foundation with additional funding from former RCP treasurer Professor Chuka Nwokolo, CBE, FRCP and RCP president Sir Andrew Goddard, FRCP.

Sir Andrew Goddard said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on all healthcare professions and many members and fellows of the RCP were infected while caring for patients both in the UK and across the globe. This memorial is to remember and honour those physicians who have died but is also intended as a point of reflection for all those affected by the pandemic.”

Nicholas Dimbleby specialises in figurative bronze sculpture. His other works include the statue of artist James McNeil Whistler on London’s Chelsea embankment and footballer turned TV personality, Jimmy Hill, in Coventry.