In 2023, a new HIV and AIDS National Monument is intended to be installed in the People’s Park in the Phoenix Park in 2023.
Its purpose will be to remember those who have died and mark their lives and contribution to society, while also showing solidarity with those living with and affected by HIV today.
The monument will also serve as a tribute to those friends, families, support groups, doctors, nurses and carers who dedicated so much of their life and work to the treatment of HIV and improving care.
Anaisa Franco and Michael R. DiCarlo have been awarded the commission for the HIV and AIDS National Monument competition, following a two-stage open competition.
Their successful proposal entitled Embraced Loop is a concept which uses an abstraction form of the HIV symbol, the red ribbon, to create a parametric shape where the rope loop closes creating an embrace of solidarity.
The Taoiseach commented: “It has been forty years since the first reports of HIV and AIDS in Ireland and this dedicated National Monument will raise collective awareness, while also creating a fitting and inclusive space for people to gather to remember and reflect.”
The Tánaiste noted: “It’s 4 decades since the first case of AIDS was reported in Ireland. The huge improvements in treatment since then mean that HIV once treated is now a chronic illness that cannot be transmitted to others rather than a terminal one. However, it continues to be one of the most stigmatised medical conditions, placing a burden on families and communities. This National Monument will be a place of remembrance dedicated to those who lost their lives, and a tribute to those who provide care. It will also be an opportunity to raise awareness, and to take on those stigmas. I am grateful to the HIV and AIDS Monument Oversight Committee for their dedicated work in selecting the excellent competition winner.”
A HIV and AIDS Monument Oversight Committee, chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach, was established in 2021 to oversee the design and commissioning of the monument. The competition was organised and administered on behalf of the Committee by the Office of Public Works (OPW).
In June of this year, the OPW invited Expressions of Interest from individuals and project teams including professional and non-professional applicants to create a HIV and AIDS National Monument. 26 eligible submissions were received, 8 of which made it through to Stage 2 of the competition, which included the development of a maquette.
A Jury nominated by the HIV and Aids Oversight Committee, adjudicated on the 8 finalists in November 2022 and the winner was ratified by the Oversight Committee in December 2022. The financial value of the commission is €200,000.
The Jury of 11 members comprised nominees from HIV Ireland; Fast Track Cities Steering Group; Irish Haemophilia Society; Ana Liffey Drugs Project; Gender, Orientation, Sexual Health, HIV (GOSHH); the Arts Council; and an OPW Principal Architect and an arts nominee.
The Jury were impressed with the very high standard of submissions, which responded sensitively to the brief. The Oversight Committee agreed with the Jury members that the Competition Winner put forward an excellent proposal. They noted that ‘the sculpture has universal appeal, is ambitious and aesthetically strong, and that the artists displayed a thorough understanding of the brief.’