One Nail – One Death: Monument to the German Victims of COVID-19 in Münster

In the cathedral in Schwäbisch Gmünd, a work of art made of thousands of nails commemorates those who died in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around 13,000 nails have been hammered into small blocks of wood in the Holy Cross Minster and lined up on steps in the church. “The multitude of the dead is so abstract, I couldn’t imagine it pictorially,” said Marios Pergialis, youth advisor at the Ostalb Deanery, about the idea for the artwork. He therefore decided to symbolize each Corona dead with a nail.

Together with the artist Anthony Di Paola, he approached the parish in November with the idea and received permission for the artwork in the minster. When they hammered the nails into the wooden blocks in late November, there were about 12,500 COVID-19 deaths in Germany. The number has since risen to more than 22,000 deaths. Bowls with thousands more nails in them, placed next to the hundreds of wooden blocks, commemorate the newly added victims.

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