Elie Wiesel
Elie WieselFlash 90

Holocaust survivor and human rights campaigner Elie Wiesel will be memorialized with a bust at Washington National Cathedral.

The sculpture of Wiesel will sit next to the heads of other well known figures in an alcove known as the Human Rights Porch. Wiesel’s carved head will join Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks and Jonathan Myrick Daniels, a civil rights activist who was murdered by a county deputy in 1965 in Alabama while protecting a 17-year old African American woman.

"This is the space where we celebrate human aspiration," National Cathedral spokesperson Kevin Eckstrom told USA Today.

The bust of Wiesel was a group effort. Artist Chas Fagan, the creator of all the sculptures in the Human Rights Porch, used photos and videos of Wiesel provided by his family to build a clay image of the author’s head. Cathedral stone carver Sean Callahan and head stonemason Joe Alsonso then made a plaster model. Finally, Callahan used calibration equipment to carve Wiesel’s likeness into a piece of rock on the wall that had been left there for years for the purpose of adding a fourth face to the exhibit.

“Elie Wiesel’s life is an extraordinary testimony to the indomitable human spirit and the triumph of love of thy neighbor over hatred and fear, even amidst the darkest and most devastating periods of human history,” said Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral. “From the depths of cruelty inflicted on him, his family and so many millions of Jews and others during the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel went on to dedicate his life to the pursuit of human rights, and to heed the lessons of history. We are humbled to welcome his likeness to the cathedral and pray that his example and legacy will be a blessing and an inspiration to all who enter.”

The dedication of the bust will occur in the fall. Simultaneously, the National Cathedral in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity will present a program dedicated to Wiesel’s legacy.