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MEMO sculptor at St Paul's

19 July 2009
Sebastian Brooke will be carving outside St Paul's Cathedral in London until September.

Pictured right is Monmouth stonecarver Sebastian Brooke outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London next to his carving of an Hawaiian Haha palm. But it’s no joke. It is one of the 860 species of plant and animal known to have become extinct since the dodo died out in 1861. And Sebastian is recording them all in Portland limestone, the same stone from which St Paul’s Cathedral is built. It was the fossils seen in the stone being used to build St Paul’s that first made people aware that species had become extinct. When complete in 2012, the MEMO (Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory) carvings will form a 30m diameter monument on the cliffs of the World Heritage Site Jurassic Coast on the island of Portland in Dorset that the stone comes from. It will include a bell the size of St Paul’s own Great Paul bell to be rung every time another species becomes extinct. To help raise funds for the project, Sebastian will continue to carve sections of it outside the cathedral until September.


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