Society statement on Leicester Cathedral’s Announcement

Yesterday (16 June) Leicester Cathedral revealed the design for King Richard’s tomb, see  
http://kingrichardinleicester.com/news-blog/project-news/
and the following notice has been uploaded on to the home page of the Society’s website:
 
We are pleased that plans for the  honourable reburial of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral next spring are progressing.
 
We also note the latest design for the planned tomb, which shows the replacement of the large white rose motif inlay with a dark Kilkenny stone plinth.  Some of our members will have reservations about the design, and whilst we understand the rationale behind the tomb’s design its starkness will not appeal to all. There is a particular need for clearly identifiable white roses within its design. However we welcome the fact that King Richard’s coffin will be made by Michael Ibsen, a direct collateral descendent of the king.
 
We hope that some of the issues we have with the latest tomb design can be resolved amicably, and a meeting with the cathedral authorities to discuss these matters is scheduled.
 
It is inevitable that there will be conflicting views about the design of the tomb, but it is important these do not detract from the solemnity and dignity of the reburial. To this end we will continue to work positively with Leicester Cathedral.
 
Philippa Langley and the Dean of Leicester were interviewed on BBC Radio Leicester yesterday and below are links to the interviews (which begin at 2 hrs 6 mins into the programme) and a transcript by Nerdalicious:
 
 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0207t3g
 
http://nerdalicious.com.au/history/richard-iii-tomb-design-still-causing-contoversy/
 
This morning’s papers report the design has not been met with universal approval and Tory MP Tim Loughton (Worthing East & Shoreham) has described it as looking like ‘a bicycle park slot’.  The Leicester Mercury will be running a piece tomorrow on the design and Philippa has contributed this quote:
 
The people of Leicester voted 79% against the slash cross, yet it is still on the design, and now the Cathedral are asking the people of Leicester to pay for it with their donations. It doesn’t make any kind of sense. The Richard III Society and Looking For Richard Project have asked for the slashed cross to be replaced by the Cathedral’s original design for a raised / superimposed cross on the tomb. This honours the king by having no reflection or connotation to the wounds he received when he died fighting in battle, and which also offers the three dimensional Christian cross – the symbol of his faith for the very pious king that he himself would have recognised and revered. Please can we ask the people of Leicester to vote for the design they want for their city (slashed cross or raised), so that they now have a proper voice in this. We all want the people of Leicester to be proud of their lasting monument to the king that honours him when the eyes of the world will be upon them.
 
Finally the BBC, on their website, have published a quote from Marian Hare as vice chairman of the Richard III Society (sic). Marian, of course is deputy chair of the Leicester Branch and the views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the Society.
 
We will of course be keeping you up to date.
 
Wendy Moorhen
Deputy Chair