INFORMATION RELEASE for 10 February 2022
Faith leaders from across the UK joined Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis at the unveiling the statue of Licoricia of Winchester today [Thursday 10 February] in England’s historic royal capital. The sculpture, crafted by leading UK figurative sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, and now installed in Winchester’s Jewry Street, was celebrated by the presence of leaders of Jewish, Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Quaker, Muslim, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh and Bahai communities.
The Chief Rabbi of the UK and the Commonwealth, Ephraim Mirvis said:
“In many ways, the story of Licoricia shines a light on the nature of the Medieval Jewish community. Despite living in a society which was frequently hostile to Jews, Licoricia was totally committed to raising her family, building a successful enterprise and contributing to the prosperity of the country. As such, the unveiling of this significant statue sends a powerful message to contemporary British society of the importance of industriousness, generosity and respect for all people.”
Licoricia was a leading personality in the Jewish community of Winchester in the 13th century. Despite being widowed twice, she successfully brought up her family, conducted her business and prospered in a hostile society. She was a major financier to Henry III and his Queen, Eleanor. Money raised from Licoricia and from the estate of her second husband David contributed to the building of Westminster Abbey and its rich shrine to Edward the Confessor.
The project to install a statue of Licoricia aims to inform people about England’s little-known but important medieval Jewish community; to be a fresh gateway to the study of Winchester’s royal medieval past; to promote tolerance and diversity in today’s society; to inspire women and show the importance of education in providing opportunity; and to be a lasting artistic enhancement to the city of Winchester.
Maggie Carver, Chairman of the Licorica appeal, said:
“The statue of Licoricia stands as a reminder of the importance of Jewish and other minority communities within England’s history and right up to the present day. The trustees hugely welcome the presence of so many leaders and representatives of all the faiths in this country, as a mark of the importance of inter-faith understanding, tolerance and education.”
As well as the statue itself, the Licoricia project includes a new book researched and written by historian Rebecca Abrams to be published later this year, educational materials for schools prepared by Hampshire County Council, and an exhibition mounted by the Hampshire Cultural Trust.
Fuller details of the Licoricia project are set out in the attached project summary.
Photographs are attached. Further photographs are available from the Licoricia of Winchester Appeal Trust firstname.lastname@example.org.
Licoricia of Winchester Appeal:
- Tony Stoller email@example.com 07774 460422
- Danny Habel firstname.lastname@example.org 07710 331910
Office of the Chief Rabbi
- Director of Communications Mark Frazer email@example.com
Further information on the Licoricia project: www.licoricia.org.uk