LJS members in bid to honour 13th century pioneer

14 February 2019

Two members of The Liberal Jewish Synagogue (LJS) are part of an exciting bid to erect a statue of Licoricia of Winchester and her son Asser in the centre of the city.

Licoricia was England’s most prominent Jewish businesswomen in the 13th century. She was a pioneering figure who raised funds for Henry III and Queen Eleanor, as well as projects including the core of Westminster Abbey.

Maggie and William Carver are members of the LJS who live in Winchester. They are trustees for the project, which aims to raise money for a life-sized bronze statue to be placed outside the Discovery Centre Library in Jewry Street, Winchester, near where Licoricia lived.

William said: “We hope the statue will not only educate about the important Jewish community in Winchester, and the rest of the UK, before the expulsion of 1290, but also inspire women and foster tolerance and diversity today.”

Following a competition, the commission to do the work was won by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS – one of the UK’s leading sculptors. There are no known illustrations of Licoricia so Ian has used as his inspiration his daughter and grandson, both of whom are Jewish. A modelling of the sculpture is below.

The appeal aims to raise £125,000. Approximately £78,000 of this is the cost of the statue, £20,000 for plaque and plinth and the remainder for a booklet to accompany the statue, as well as educational materials for schools, tertiary and adult education, and talks. The sum of £15,000 has already been raised locally.

Find out more about The Licoricia of Winchester Statue Appeal – including an in-depth history of Licoricia and the Winchester Jewish community – at www.licoricia.org.

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