Cathedral is playing host to the 18ft high gilded cross and orb which will be
Britains Millennium gift to Germany.
The cross and orb will top the newly reconstructed Frauenkirche church in Dresden, a
city that was badly destroyed by war time bombing.
Dresden, which saw 100,000 inhabitants die during air-raids, has forged a close link
with Coventry in the post war years.
The cross and orb was designed and crafted by Alan Smith, a south London silversmith,
who made the cross of nails, copies of which Coventry sent across the world as a mark of
Dresden was heavily bombed in February 1945 in revenge for the damage to Coventry. The
Frauenkirche lay in ruins in East Germany but Chancellor Helmut Kohl instigated its
rebuilding when the two Germanies were unified.
Some original stones have been used in the rebuilding which is due to be completed next
David Mead, bursar of Coventry Cathedral, said it was wholly appropriate that the cross
and orb should come to Coventry.
"This is a chance for us to share in the goodwill between the cities. It is an
opportunity for people to see something in a way they will never again. This is the only
time the cross and orb will be at ground level.
"It will be display in the Cathedral until March 5, when it will go to Liverpool
and then St Pauls Cathedral. It will go to Germany in November and will be on
display there before being lifted on to the Frauenkirche in 2004."