Memorial to journalists killed in conflicts unveiled in London
A glass and steel memorial dedicated to journalists killed on assignment in the world's conflicts zones was unveiled by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in London Monday, dpa reported. The 10 metre-high sculpture, entitled Breathing, is placed on the roof of Broadcasting House, the revamped London headquarters of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Every night, it will project a beam of light up to one kilometre high into the sky to coincide with the BBC's main news bulletin at 21;00 GMT.
The artwork, shaped like a giant cone, was created by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa and selected as a result of an international competition.
It was commissioned following a 2006 UN Security Council Resolution which demanded an end to attacks on journalists.
The memorial is dedicated to all news journalists and those who have worked with them, including drivers and translators, the BBC said.
Over the past 10 years, an estimated two war reporters have died each week, said the BBC.
But the vast majority of journalists who lost their lives were local reporters investigating crime and corruption "to stop the flow of words."
At the dedication ceremony, hosted by the BBC and the International News Safety Institute (INSI), Ban addressed an audience of politicians, journalists, former hostages and families of people killed in pursuit of reporting the news.
Just like reporting was a "light that shines," the memorial was a "beacon of hope," Ban said.
INSI director Rodney Pinder said: "These men and women are the unsung heroes of democracy, for without a free press there can be no freedom. This shaft of light in the capital of international journalism is a visual reminder of their sacrifice."