Thousands of messages left on the mural of footballer Marcus Rashford in Manchester will be deleted and kept on Friday, to protect them from the rains expected this weekend.
A team of archivists and curators will tear off the tributes so that they are preserved for future generations to mark the national moment of solidarity that followed the disfigurement of the mural and a torrent of racist abuse aimed at the player on them. social networks, as well as his English teammates. Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho.
Hundreds of people have traveled, many long distances, to read and add their own messages of support for the sun, but there are fears that the change of weather could lead to the notes disintegrating.
Manchester City Council has reached out to Rashford to ask how he would like the notes to be preserved for the long term in order to create “a lasting legacy of tolerance, love and solidarity from which future generations can learn”. One idea his team is considering is to digitize messages so that they have a longer lifespan and be accessible from all over the world.
Meanwhile, the Withington Wall Community Project, which first commissioned the mural, the Manchester Art Gallery, the Central Library Archives Department, the People’s History Museum, the National Football Museum and the University of Manchester discussed the best way to preserve notes. .
Manchester has a habit of preserving these moments of organic encounter. After the Manchester Arena attack that killed 22 spectators, 10,000 items left by the public at memorial sites across the city have been preserved in the Manchester Together archives.
Among the designs, poems and plush toys were Great Manchester Run medals and a bag of Glastonbury mud. Visitors to the town’s People History Museum can also see an exhibit dedicated to the legacy of assassinated MP Jo Cox, including a memorial wall of hundreds of handwritten tributes left in front of Parliament after her death, as well as placards and banners.
On Friday, staff at Manchester Art Gallery and Central Library Archives + will take the notes and transport them to the library’s archives department for safekeeping. Masters students from the Institute of Cultural Practices at the University of Manchester will also be on hand, ready to help collect the messages and document the process.
Library staff will then undertake the delicate process of separating each message, recording it, and photographing it.
Due to the large amount of tape that was used to hold the tributes in place against the wall, entire sections will likely need to be lifted and wrapped in place, then carefully separated later.
A spokesperson for Withington Wall’s praised the timing of the recording of “social and cultural history” and said it was “incredibly lucky” that professionals took care of preserving the notes, while remaining in dialogue with the community and others to find out where the messages ended. They said the bloodshed was hopefully a “fork in the road” in terms of progress and equality.
Luthfur Rahman, deputy head of Manchester City Council, said the actions of those who came forward in solidarity “have marked ‘Manchester’ throughout.”
He said it was important that the shared moment “which began with the placement of a single little message of love on the mural after it was disfigured – an action that spoke to the whole country and not just in Manchester ”be remembered and preserved.
Greater Manchester Police have appealed for witnesses and are investigating the vandalism as potentially aggravated by race.
Five messages that were posted on the Rashford mural
“Dear Marcus Rashford, You have made us all extremely proud. ‘Then surely with difficulty comes ease’ Quran 94: 5. You have this king, your head held high ”, Sabia
“Thanks for all of our dinner”, Reggie 6
“We are so proud of you and we hope you are all too. Thank you for reuniting England after a year of separation. »Alana and Tom
“New Britain is born a little more every day. Carry on young kings »
“You have defended us on several occasions, now is the time for us to defend you! “