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Antony Gormley's PEN sculpture unveiled at British Library

14th December 2011

A sculpture designed by Antony Gormley to celebrate the 90th anniversary of PEN International, the world's oldest literary organisation, has been unveiled at the British Library.

The cast-iron work takes the form of an empty chair - the symbol of PEN since its inception in 1921 - and is designed to raise awareness of the many writers across the world who are prevented from expressing their opinions through their work.

Gillian Slovo, president of English PEN, said: 'It will stand as tribute to, and reminder of, those writers who, because of censorship and tyranny, are not free to go to any library either in their countries or in ours.'

Dame Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, added that she is pleased to be involved in such a 'poignant project' and expressed her admiration for the support that English PEN gives writers all over the world.

The acronym PEN originally stood for Poets, Essayists and Novelists, though members now include journalists and historians, who together aim to emphasise the role of literature in the development of mutual understanding and world culture.

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