Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 16:02 UK

Anti-slave art unveiled in city

Artwork dedicated to John Newton
The artwork is made of three steel plates

A piece of artwork, dedicated to anti-slavery campaigner John Newton, has been unveiled in Liverpool - the first one in Europe.

The words and notes of his famous hymn, Amazing Grace, have been cut out of a metal plaque on the city's waterfront.

The Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, joined its creator, Stephen Broadbent at the ceremony on Thursday.

Commissioned by Merseytravel, it is one of the last phases of the new £10.5m Pier Head Ferry Terminal.

John Newton fought for the abolition of slavery after being both a slave ship captain and a slave, during the 1740s.

'Trade routes'

After escaping a life of toil, he became the tide surveyor of the port of Liverpool, joined priesthood in 1764 and was renowned for his pastoral care across the city.

Mr Broadbent wanted the words and musical notes of the hymn to flow through his artwork.

He said: "It celebrates the connection between the lyrics of Amazing Grace and a melody that emerged from the descendants of the slaves, which John Newton in his early life had transported from Africa to America.

"The artwork is comprised of three pierced steel plates which represent the three continents connected by the trading routes of the middle passage."



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SEE ALSO
Bid for anti-slavery memorial
30 Jul 07 |  England
Start of pier head scheme opens
27 Oct 08 |  Merseyside
Ferry changes for Pier Head work
10 Nov 08 |  Merseyside

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