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Spectacular light display kicks off Cathedral's 800th anniversary

by Ruth Sax

This year marks the 800th anniversary of Salisbury Cathedral’s move from Old Sarum and the development of the city itself. 

A year long celebration, Salisbury 2020 City on the move, will begin in February with a series of light and sound spectaculars created for Salisbury Cathedral by artistic collaboration Luxmuralis.

Sarum Lights will run across five nights, from 18th February – 22nd February, where the facade of the Salisbury Cathedral and its interior will be transformed by large-scale projections exploring the story of the Cathedral since its foundation in 1220.  

The installations, accompanied by specially commissioned music, will take people on a walking journey through the Cathedral spaces, re-imagined to celebrate the life and work of the people of Salisbury. 

Throughout the year, Salisbury 2020, City on the move will celebrate the rich heritage of the city and Cathedral, but will also mark Salisbury’s recovery post-Novichok. This year is a year of change for the city, according to authorities, with development projects and a rebranding exercise underway.

Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury, said: “We are looking forward to the opening event of what we believe will be a vibrant and exciting year for the community of Salisbury. In the Cathedral close alone there are five attractions, each engaging with different periods in this nation’s and region’s history, from the stone age to the present day. It is an extraordinary legacy to celebrate.”

Luxmuralis’ artistic director Peter Walker said: “We are delighted to be working with the Cathedral to help celebrate such a remarkable moment in its history. Luxmuralis as an artistic collaboration is all about re-imagining places and architecture in new ways.

“The Cathedral’s 800th year allows us to focus on a rich history of art and culture, utilising that heritage not only to re-tell that history, but also to express the aspirations for the present and the future, a message we will be looking to articulate through light and sound on the magnificent West Front and in the stunning internal spaces that pilgrims and visitors alike have marvelled at for generations”.


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