A Magical New Art Piece Has Been Installed Inside The National Cathedral

Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz

A Magical New Art Piece Has Been Installed Inside The National Cathedral

Les Colombes by artist Michael Pendry features thousands of floating origami doves.

The National Cathedral remains closed to the public, but a new art installation has been installed at the Cathedral’s grand nave in the hopes of eventually inviting back visitors.

Created by German artist Michael Pendry, Le Colombes features over 1,000 origami doves, delicately arranged to float over the nave. Symbolizing hope and the Holy Spirit, Pendry’s installation has been brought to the National Cathedral in the hopes of bringing a feeling of optimism for 2021 after a challenging year.

“This sculpture is arranged to give new life to our Cathedral, embody our resolve to be kind to our fellow human, and to do our part in making a better tomorrow,” explain officials on the Cathedral’s website.

A traveling artist, Pendry developed the magical piece of art after gathering doves from the public during his tour through Europe, Israel and the U.S. According to Pendry, before the pandemic hit, he would encourage the audience to create their own dove and leave a small message — Hope, love and peace are usually the predominant themes, the artist told WTOP news.

“These are the things that people are really worried about and want to have in their lives — more than having a new car or a bigger house,” he said.

Les Colombes has also appeared in Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, England; St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London; Mount Zion in Jerusalem; Heilig-Geist Viktualienmarkt in Munich; and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.


The paper doves are individually hung from an almost-invisible thread and once the sun comes down the installation also features sound, video and lights as part of an interactive experience.

Although the National Cathedral remains closed to the public for the time being, organizers have set up a link online where you can register and receive more information on how to see Les Colombes once the Cathedral opens.

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[Featured image: Washington National Cathedral ]