Over 55,000 visit Derry Temple site

The Temple burns
The Temple burns

The team who brought David Best’s Temple to Derry have confirmed that in excess of 55,000 people visited the site over the last week.

It was ceremoniously burned last night, with over 25,000 people witnessing the event.

The project was the brainchild of creative company Artichoke, who brought the hugely successful Lumiere to Derry as part of the City of Culture celebrations in 2013.

Speaking to the ‘Sunday’ yesterday, ahead of the burning, their spokesperson said they were ‘overwhelmed’ by how the week had gone.

She continued, “We didn’t really know what to expect but it has been absoloutely beyond our expectations. Over 27,000 people visited the site on Friday alone.

“We have been thrilled with how the city and the people have embraced the project - and everyone really ‘gets it’.

“We have loved working in Derry and if we were invited to come back then we definitely would.”

The Temple in Derry is the first time the artist David Best has produced one of his iconic Temples outside of the United States, and Artichoke confirmed that he too was ‘overwhelmed’ by the response.

“He has been blown away by the generosity of the people here and their spirit,” said the spokesperson.

“He has loved every second.”

The Temple site has been a place of reflection and hope for many who visited, with a delegation from the Warrington Peace Centre leaving a token of reflection on Monday, and the parents of PSNI Constable Phillipa Reynolds, who lost her life in the line of duty in Derry, visiting on Thursday.