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Statue of Henrietta Lacks unveiled at University of Bristol

Henrietta Lacks statue

The Lacks Family and artist Helen Wilson-Roe with the statue installed today in Royal Fort Gardens University of Bristol

Henrietta Lacks statue

Henrietta Lacks statue University of Bristol

5 October 2021

A life-size bronze statue of Henrietta Lacks, a Black American woman whose cells were the first ever to survive and multiply outside the body, and whose use changed the course of modern medicine, has been unveiled at the University of Bristol by members of her family to honour the 70th anniversary of her cells first being used.

Her son Lawrence Lacks, who was 17 when his mother passed away, was joined by her grandson Alan Wilks and his wife Pam, granddaughter Jeri Lacks-Whye and great-granddaughters Victoria Baptiste and Veronica Robinson for the unveiling this afternoon – Monday 4 October 2021.  

The statue, commissioned by the University earlier this year, is located in the heart of the campus precinct next to Royal Fort House and was unveiled on Monday 1st October 2021. It is the work of Bristol artist Helen Wilson-Roe and is the first public statue of a Black woman made by a Black woman to be permanently installed in the UK. 

You can learn more about Henrietta Lacks legacy and how the HeLa cells is the most widely used cell line in the world here.

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