Remember the hostages, says Dame Maureen Lipman at ‘lovelock’ installation

Dame Maureen Lipman has called on the public to remember the hostages taken by Hamas as she placed a lock on a bridge in North London.

The installation, at London’s Jewish Community Centre in Hampstead, was inspired by lovers placing locks on bridges around the world.

More than 100 locks were placed on the bridge bearing the names of people taken hostage by Hamas fighters in Israel.

As well as the hostages, signed locks were attached to the bridge by prominent members of Britain’s Jewish community including Sir Simon Schama, author Howard Jacobson and former MP Luciana Berger.

Other attendees on Sunday included Sir Iain Duncan Smith, journalist Toby Young and TV presenter Rachel Johnson.

The bridge has been renamed Lovelock Hostage Bridge as part of the installation.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Dame Maureen asked the public not to put the hostages to the back of their minds.

“Standing alongside my fellow Jewish achievers, (we are) pinning a lock, a symbolic lock, to say don’t put this to the back of your mind,” she said.

“Please remember that this lock represents love, you’re a mother, you’re a grandmother, you’re a grandfather, you’re a daughter.

“These people have been taken, they’re civilians.

“People are very quick to talk about civilian deaths and ‘appropriate’. It’s appropriate for us to be here today and to remember those people who have been suffering.”

She said the war would end if Hamas releases the hostages.

“If they give back the hostages the war will be over,” she said.

“And you won’t have to march every Saturday and stand on the cenotaph.”

Marcel Knobil, founder of the Lovelock Hostage Bridge, said he conceived the installation as a way for people around the world to be able to show their love and solidarity for the hostages.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit the bridge any day from 10am to 10pm.

Locks can be picked up for free at the centre’s reception, and donations to the Hostage and Missing Families forum are welcome.