A STRIKING new memorial could be erected in Liverpool at the 21st anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.
Is the proposed Hillsborough memorial statue a fitting tribute?The metal artwork, to be funded by the public, is set to be unveiled in the city next April by the council's Lord Mayor office.
It is expected to be initially stationed in the Town Hall ballroom before being moved to different locations within the city centre.
The lifesized model will stand 15 foot high and have a spiritual element with a top figure looking upwards to the heavens.
All the 96 names of those who died after the Sheffield crushes will be inscribed on the 96 flames carved into the metal stand.
The families hope football fans will drape their own scarves onto the flames when they visit the artwork.
Creator Tony Evans has created a model of the memorial and is keen to gain the backing of both grieving families and survivors for the model.
But the design, which features a top figure seemingly strewn on top of a metal fence, seems set to be controversial from the outset.
A number of families and survivors have expressed concerns about the very immediate portrayal of the 1989 disaster.
Letters have been sent to the 96 families and a period of consultation is set to begin, asking people for those opinions.
The Lord Mayor's Office, who are behind the project, are keen to stress that nothing has been approved.
A letter to Hillsborough Family Support Group members read: ''The statue is not intended to elicit sympathy, but to tell the story of a tragic event which unfortunately part of Liverpool life, and which brought, and which continues to bring, Liverpool people together and those touched by this from further afield.
'It also shows that, 21 years later, feelings have not diminished, and so many still wonder why.'
Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: 'When I first saw the model, I went into quiet mode because of the way it looks.
'I think it does, however, tell the story of what those people went through.'