IN just six months, a pile of clay has been transformed by royal sculptor Frances Segelman into a stunning bust of Holocaust survivor Arek Hersh.
The work of art was unveiled by Marina Smith at Beth Shalom, the national Holocaust centre and museum in Laxton, Nottinghamshire, on Sunday.
Dr James Smith, co-founder and life president of Beth Shalom, paid tribute to the support and contribution that Arek and his wife, Jean, have made to the work of Beth Shalom since its inception 22 years ago.
He added that to mark the event in Arek’s 90th year was particularly appropriate.
The bronze sculpture, one of a series that Frances is creating of Shoah survivors, together with a portrait of Arek, created by Victoria Perloff, will be on permanent display at the centre.
Arek was overwhelmed with the bust, saying he was “truly touched” by the skill and care that had been taken by Frances in creating the piece.
Leeds’ Makor Jewish cultural centre obtained the funding for the sculpture.
Makor director Helen Frais said the event was particularly memorable not only because so many people had made the effort to travel to Beth Shalom from Leeds, but also to witness how much affection there was among the Beth Shalom staff and volunteers for Arek and Jean.