A gift of reconciliation was made to the people of Coventry from the people of Dresden yesterday. The presentation was made following a service at Coventry Cathedral to commemorate the devastating Second World War bombing of Dresden. Representatives from Dresden gave the Cathedral miniature replicas of the 26ft orb and cross they had received last year, as part of the rebuilding programme of its Baroque Church of Our Lady, the Frauenkirche. Coventry and Dresden were heavily bombed during World War Two. Thousands were killed and both cities lost many ancient buildings. The full-sized original gilded cross was presented to Dresden by the Duke of Kent on 13 February last year, the 55th anniversary of the Allied bombing of Dresden. The cross was designed by Alan Smith, whose father took part in the bombing mission. The replicas will go on show in Coventry Cathedral's visitor centre with an explanation of its significance in both German and English. Dresden and Coventry have been twinned since 1956. Canon Andrew White, director of the international ministry at Coventry Cathedral, said: "This gift is a lovely gesture. The relationship between Coventry and Dresden has grown over the last 60 years. We work with each other whenever possible and the whole issue of the Frauenkirche is very important as Coventry Cathedral was also destroyed by enemy action. We hope that the ceremony today will be part of the whole process of healing of the relationship between our nations and cities."
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