US: West Hollywood to design AIDS monument honouring those who lost their lives

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The local council for the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles has hired an artist to design an AIDS memorial to remember the more than 650,000 Americans who lost their lives throughout the epidemic.

The monument, which will be built in West Hollywood Park, is to be be designed by artist Daniel Tobin who is the Australian founder and principal of design firm Urban Art Projects.

West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico said in a statement: “In many ways the story of AIDS and the story of West Hollywood are intertwined.

“Right from the beginning, the people of West Hollywood wept for the dying, cared for the sick, and protested for more action.”

The city has teamed with The Foundation for a National AIDS Monument who are supporting the project.

He added: “Our ongoing commitment to caring and optimism is coupled with our strength as we continue to act.

“Today, with this monument, and all that we have become, we mark our history while we prepare for new challenges, new protests and new celebrations.”

Councimember John Duran said: “The creation of an AIDS monument in West Hollywood is deeply personal for those of us who lived through the horror.”

Mr Duran survived the epidemic despite himself being HIV-positive since the 1980s.

“This project will bring us together as a community to grieve, remember, honor our heroes and teach about what happened when plague hit Southern California,” he added.

As part of the monument, visitors will be able to submit videos, photos, and stories online of their lost loved ones.

In 2012, the West Hollywood council approved a measure to paint a street crossing in rainbow colours for the month of June.