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An installation of sculptural silhouettes that began in an English village church will fill great cathedrals and could head abroad.

Thousands of “ghost soldiers” will appear seated in the pews of churches and cathedrals across the UK this summer in a World War I memorial artwork that aims to raise £15 million ($20 million) to help today’s veterans. The perspex or aluminium silhouettes of single uniformed figures are called “Tommies” after the slang for ordinary British soldiers.

Standing versions of the soldiers’ silhouettes made of aluminum have begun to appear to kick-start the project and its fundraising campaign. Venues include St Pancras Station in London. In less than a week the sale of sculptures totaled more than £1.3 million ($1.8 million) as individuals and community groups rushed to place their orders.

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