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Archbishop Tutu unveils memorial to mark end of slave trade

PUBLISHED: 17:23 08 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:36 05 October 2010

Archbishop Desmond Tutu after unveiling a new sculpture by artist Michael Visocchi to commemorate the bicentenary in 2007 of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, Fenchurch Street, London, 4 August 2008.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu after unveiling a new sculpture by artist Michael Visocchi to commemorate the bicentenary in 2007 of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, Fenchurch Street, London, 4 August 2008.

ARCHBISHOP Desmond Tutu has unveiled a new sculpture in the City of London to commemorate last year’s bicentenary of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. He unveiled the sculpture Gilt of Cain by artist Michael Visocchi at Fen Court near Aldgate last week

ARCHBISHOP Desmond Tutu has unveiled a new sculpture in the City of London to commemorate last year's bicentenary of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

He unveiled the sculpture Gilt of Cain by artist Michael Visocchi at Fen Court near Aldgate last week.

It combines sculpture with poetry and creates a focal point close to the site where the Rev John Newton's powerful anti-slavery sermons in St Mary Woolnoth Church inspired the abolitionist founder William Wilberforce at the turn of the 19th century.

The granite sculpture is made up of columns surrounding a podium which suggests a congregation gathered to listen to a preacher.

It is the centrepiece of a new pedestrian scheme around Fenchurch Avenue which includes raised pedestrian tables, dropped kerbs, granite paving, new trees and public seating.

John Newton was Rector of St Mary Woolnoth from 1779 to 1807, a former slave trader himself who had joined the Church and preached against the slave trade. He is also known to have encouraged Wilberforce who won the battle in Parliament for abolition in 1807.

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