A nationwide appeal to Scotland’s artist community to come forward to work on The Herald garden of remembrance has taken a step further.

Following an encouraging response to the campaign highlighting the opportunity to submit ideas for an artistic engagement process, a shortlist of three has been identified.

The selected artists behind the projects will now be invited to submit their visions of how the project could be taken forward to help shape the design while connecting with communities.

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The Herald has been campaigning to create a memorial garden as a tribute to Scots who have lost their lives and on the anniversary of lockdown, people were able to view the site which we hope will become an important place for remembrance and healing.

It is felt the artistic engagement process is a chance for views to be heard and opinions to be sought on what could be incorporated. We invited artists to submit expressions of interest though our steering group partners Greenspace Scotland.

The plaque unvieled by Lord Provost of Glasgow Philip Braat in Pollok Country Park, was taken within hours

The plaque unvieled by Lord Provost of Glasgow Philip Braat in Pollok Country Park, was taken within hours

The development comes after the site of the memorial was unveiled in Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park by the city’s Lord Provost Philip Braat. However, sadly within hours a commemorative plaque dedicated to the lives of those who died in during the Covid-19 pandemic was taken.

Donald Martin, editor-in-chief of The Herald and Herald on Sunday, said: “We were delighted by the response we received from the artistic community after issuing a brief for the engagement process.

“Creating a fitting memorial to those who have lost their lives to coronavirus is something we want to get it right for everyone, from friends and relatives of people who died to individuals wanting to find quiet moments of peace and solace at the garden.

“We have now identified a shortlist of three and the individuals will be invited for interview by an expert panel in the coming weeks.”

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It is hoped the engagement process will offer the chance to record and document some of the stories and legacies from the pandemic from the healthcare teams up and down the country treating seriously ill patients to how the pandemic has impacted on communities and individuals.

Meanwhile inquiries are continuing following the theft of a plaque at The Herald garden of remembrance taken just hours after it had been unveiled.

The plaque was in memory of all those who have been lost during the Covid-19 pandemic. It had been unveiled as the exact location of the memorial was revealed to coincide with the anniversary of the first national lockdown.

The artistic engagement project will be an opportunity to gauge opinion

The artistic engagement project will be an opportunity to gauge opinion

One family made a visit to the site in Pollok Country Park on March 23 as they had wanted to be there for the midday minute silence as part of the National Day of Reflection only to discover it was missing.

The memorial garden campaign has been given a further boost following an offer from the Scottish Government to pledge more than £16,000 to help us reach a milestone £60,000 after more than £43,000 had already been raised.

To read more about the campaign go to www.heraldscotland.com/campaigns/memorial-garden/ To donate go to: gofundme.com/ herald-garden-of-remembrance. You can also send donations via post to The Herald Garden of Remembrance Campaign, Herald & Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow, G32 8FG. If you can help email memorialgarden@theherald.co.uk