The National Covid Memorial Wall

Each hand-painted heart represents someone who was loved. Someone who was lost too soon to Covid.

Please take a few minutes to “walk the wall”. Use headphones and scroll along its length slowly to listen to some of the family members who painted the hearts.

Walk the wall

Where is the wall?
The National Covid Memorial Wall is situated on the south bank of the river Thames in London, UK, directly opposite the Houses of Parliament. Here is a link to find it on Google Maps.
How can I add my message?
Anyone can visit the wall and add a message to a heart. Please keep your message within a single heart.
Can I add my story to this website?
Yes - the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice are collecting audio testimonies which you will be able to search and listen to on this site along with the ones you can already hear. Please get in touch with them at [email protected] if you are interested.
Who created it?
The wall was painted by 1,500 volunteers starting on 29th March 2021 over the course of ten days. It was organised as a collaboration between the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice and Led By Donkeys.
Who paid for it?
The memorial was funded by the public through an online crowdfunder. There are significant ongoing maintenance costs so please do contribute if you can.
Who is maintaining it?
A group of bereaved family members and others called the ‘Friends of the Covid Memorial Wall’ has taken responsibility for adding hearts to the wall and repainting hearts and messages to ensure they do not fade. If you would like to help, please contact the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice.
How long will it last?
More than 200 Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum have joined calls to make the memorial permanent.
How many hearts are on it?
The picture used on this website was taken after the initial phase was complete on April 8, 2021. 150,837 hearts were painted at the time to align with the figures from the Office for National Statistics released that day. However this is a living memorial and the pandemic is still ongoing so hearts and messages are being added all the time.
How did you count the hearts?
A machine learning tool was designed and trained to recognise the shape of the hand-drawn hearts (thank you to Golan Levin’s team at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University). After a few days of testing its accuracy with manual counts for several sections, it was used at the end of each day to help ensure an accurate count as the installation neared completion.
Machine learning was used to count the hearts
Can I recreate a similar wall of hearts in my town, city, country?
Yes of course. This is already happening, for example in this town in Georgia, US. You can use any materials to hand, but for the National Covid Memorial Wall mostly 8K Posca pens were used - approximately 9,000 of them (thank you to Upfest for the support in sourcing materials).
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