Prince Charles to unveil statue of Jewish figure Licoricia of Winchester

·2-min read
Prince Charles and a scale model of the Licoricia statue
Prince Charles and a scale model of the Licoricia statue

THE Prince of Wales will unveil the statue of Licoricia of Winchester next month, it has been revealed today.

The sculpture, outside the Discovery Centre on Jewry Street, will then be blessed by the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Ephraim Mirvis on Thursday February 10.

The Prince will meet a range of local people and children, as well as representatives from the different faith communities who have supported the Licoricia project and leading figures from Winchester and Hampshire.

The time of the unveiling has yet to be announced.

Licoricia was a leading community figure in the 13th century.

READ MORE HERE: Statue approved of Winchester medieval Jewish figure, Licoricia

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. She was murdered along with her Christian maid in the city.

As reported in the Chronicle, the five-year 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.

READ ALSO: Appeal for statue to celebrate Licoricia raises £110k

Maggie Carver, chairman of the Licorica appeal, said: “The trustees are deeply honoured that His Royal Highness has agreed to unveil the statue of Licoricia of Winchester. In doing so, the Prince marks the historic importance of the medieval Jewish community in Winchester’s royal past, and the continuing importance of strong inter-faith understanding.

Daily Echo: Prince Charles and a scale model of the Licoricia statue
Daily Echo: Prince Charles and a scale model of the Licoricia statue

“We also greatly welcome the presence of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and other faith leaders. His blessing of the statue will celebrate the challenging history of Jews in England across a thousand years, and embody the continuing need to educate citizens of today about the relevance of their shared heritage in creating a better society.”

Jews were part of the English community from 1067 until expulsion in 1290, having arrived after the Norman Conquest in 1066 nearly a thousand years ago. They contributed to the building of iconic places of worship such as Westminster Abbey and Lincoln Cathedral, and also other institutions, as well as to trade and culture.

Jewry Street in Winchester was where the Jewish community was based.

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Kimberley Barber