Heart sculpture is symbol of £4m appeal

Posted by vm64 at Feb 14, 2011 10:55 AM |
University of Leicester acquires eye-catching sculpture for new research centre
Heart sculpture is symbol of £4m appeal

'Stranded Heart' by Diane Maclean. The overall dimensions of the piece are: Height 1400mm, Diameter (widest) 1480mm.

Issued by University of Leicester on 14 February 2011

Jpeg image of sculpture available from pressoffice@le.ac.uk

Thanks to a donor with a big heart, the University of Leicester has been able to acquire an eye-catching sculpture of a heart by an internationally acclaimed sculptor, which will symbolise the £4m fundraising appeal for a new Cardiovascular Research Centre (CRC) at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital.  

The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has said: "It is a happy coincidence that a sculpture previously exhibited by the University in its annual summer show fits so well as a symbol of the appeal for the new Cardiovascular Research Centre at Glenfield. I was happy to enable the alliance between the two, particularly because the appeal is for such a worthy cause, which I can only urge everybody to support."

Cardiovascular disease kills over 198,000 people in the UK each year. It is one of the major causes of illness and the main cause of death in this country.  Each day, in the East Midlands alone, nine people die prematurely of heart disease with profound effects upon their families and friends. 

Each year Cardiac Services at the Glenfield Hospital see over 17,000 patients. These harsh facts mean that cardiovascular research is, and will remain, the highest priority for the University of Leicester’s College of Medicine and Biological Sciences, and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHLT). 

Building on Leicester’s international reputation for academic and clinical excellence in cardiovascular medicine, the University is seeking funds to build and equip the new £12.6m Research Centre.

The Centre will enable more people with a susceptibility to, or suffering from, cardiovascular disease to benefit from greater understanding, prediction, treatment and care. 

The sculptor and environmental artist, Diane Maclean, FRBS, is thrilled that Stranded Heart will be used for such an important cause, and her generosity has also contributed to the purchase.   

She said: “My father was a cardiac surgeon, so I understand the importance of the new Cardiovascular Research Centre and want to support it. I was delighted to forego my commission and offer my work to the University at cost in order to encourage this effort.”   

Diane Maclean works predominantly in steel and stainless steel on a large scale and has exhibited her work widely in the UK and around the world.

Many of her sculptures are in public and private collections.  Her piece, Stranded Heart, featured in the University’s annual summer sculpture exhibition last year in the Botanic Garden at Oadby, Leicester.

The Cardiovascular Research Centre at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital will cost £12.6m to build and equip.  The new Research Centre will radically transform the scale and quality of research undertaken and tackle vanguard challenges in cardiovascular disease. 

The University has committed over £8 million of its scarce capital resources to this major project and has launched an appeal to raise a further £4 million to equip and complete the CRC building.

Consultant Cardiologist Professor Nilesh Samani is Head of the University’s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, where he holds the prestigious British Heart Foundation Chair in Cardiology.   He is a Leicester alumnus and one of the foremost researchers in cardiovascular genetics in the world.

Professor Samani said:  “We are all delighted that such generosity on the part of the donor has enabled the University to buy this sculpture, which will eventually adorn the new Cardiovascular Research Centre.

“The Centre will undertake leading research in heart disease and further Leicester's reputation as a centre of excellence in cardiovascular research.” 

Steve O’Connor, Director of Development at the University, added: “Heart disease touches thousands of families across Leicestershire and this wonderful sculpture is a remarkable example of individual generosity and support for the CRC appeal.”

To support the CRC Appeal and for further information, please contact:

The Development and Alumni Relations Office, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK, Tel: +44(0)116 223 1071, Website: www.le.ac.uk/crcappeal

Notes to Editors: Further details are available from Ave Vinick, Deputy Director of Development, Development and Alumni Relations Office, University of Leicester, tel 0116 252 2176 / 07544 912 082, email arv4@le.ac.uk

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