Alan Gerrard 0

An International Arts Centre For Stoke-on-Trent

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This is a petition for the establishment of an internationally recognized arts centre in Stoke-on-Trent. The arts centre will co-ordinate, collate and exhibit all UK entries to a much wider, global, exhibition organized by the internationally renowned Lidice Gallery - situated in the symbolic village of Lidice in the Czech Republic. Why Stoke-on-Trent? Stoke-on-Trent shares an emotional bond with Lidice. It was Lidice, a small mining village, which was wiped off the face of the earth in a much publicized, filmed atrocity in June 1942. After murdering the majority of the inhabitants, the Nazis spent nearly a year exterminating all other sources of life, re-routing the river, violating the cemetery, uprooting trees and blowing up all buildings, before completely levelling the former vibrant village. However, when news reached Stoke-on-Trent, a local councillor, Dr. Barnett Stross, together with local miners and other workers decided to defy Hitler and start a campaign which was to ultimately rebuild the village. The people of the new Lidice have never forgotten the work done by the people of Stoke-on-Trent. And they have presented the Stoke-on-Trent of today the opportunity to become the exclusive co-ordinating, collating and exhibiting base for the UK stage of the International Children's Exhibition of Fine Arts (ICEFA). Let's not miss this opportunity. The positive implications for Stoke-on-Trent's profile and perceptions if the centre can be established are many. Not least, the story would be spread nationally, the perceptions of Stoke-on-Trent could change positively and visitor numbers to Stoke-on-Trent would increase. Please invite your friends to sign this petition so that we can ensure we have an arts centre in Stoke-on-Trent the whole of the UK can take pride in.

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