A NEW sculpture given to Oxford by its German twin city will be unveiled in Bonn Square during a week-long celebration of the cities’ links.

The series of events marking the twinning link with the German city of Bonn will take place from Wednesday.

The one-metre-high bronze sculpture by Diana Bell consists of two piles of books standing together, to symbolise the close link between the two university cities.

The week will feature Bonn Square’s official opening ceremony next Friday, when the sculpture will be unveiled.

Boars Hill artist Ms Bell said: “I was commissioned by Bonn to create this sculpture as a gift to Oxford and it was a real honour to be asked to do that.

“The idea for this came a long time ago but the work started in January so the schedule was quite tight.”

Michael Crofton-Briggs, the city council’s head of city development, added: “Bonn Week is an important celebration of our long-standing friendship with the citizens of Bonn.

“We are pleased to welcome representatives from Bonn to Oxford and hope that they will enjoy the delights our city has to offer. We are delighted with Bonn’s generous gift of a new sculpture for Bonn Square, which will stand as a proud symbol of our twin town status for years to come.

“The redevelopment of Bonn Square, forming part of the West End renaissance, is something Oxford can be proud of.”

A Burgerfest will take place in Bonn Square on Saturday, May 23, and will feature market stalls selling traditional German produce.

A photographic exhibition produced by schoolchildren from Bonn and Oxford will explore ideas of friendship.

Their photos will be on display in the New Road Baptist Church and Ramsay House in St Ebbe’s throughout Bonn Week.

The celebrations will finish at the Lord Mayor’s Parade on Monday, May 25.

May Wylie, the council’s international officer, who is responsible for organising the celebration, said: “Bonn Week is set to offer an exciting array of events throughout the city.

“A Burgerfest will bring a flavour of Bonn to Oxford — beer and sausages will be available from market stalls, while German and English musicians and performers will provide the entertainment.”

The relationship between Bonn and Oxford began in 1947 when the British Government encouraged contact between English and German towns, to advance the peace process after the Second World War.

Bonn Square’s civic opening ceremony will involve visiting representatives from Bonn and will be officially opened by Mary Clarkson, Oxford’s new Lord Mayor.

The books in Diana Bell’s sculpture are cast in bronze and the titles read Knowledge, Understanding, Friendship Trust, and the German equivalents Wissen, Verstandigung, Freundschaft and Vertrauen.

She said the sculpture aimed to symbolise the link between the two university cities, and that across the globe the more knowledge people had of each other, the more they began to understand each other and come together in friendship.

The square reopened in December following a £2m revamp.