Westminster's Churchill Weekend to feature famous speakers

Friday, February 11, 2011 | 4:23 p.m. CST

 COLUMBIA — Nigel Sheinwald, British ambassador to the United States, and author and journalist Max Hastings will help Westminster College celebrate the 65th anniversary of Winston Churchill's "Sinews of Peace" address next month.

Sheinwald will be the guest speaker at a dinner that is part of the annual Churchill Weekend March 5-6. Hastings, who has written 21 books, eight of them about World War II, will deliver the 27th Kemper Lecture.

More information

What: The Churchill Weekend, marking the 65th anniversary of Winston Churchill's "Sinews of Peace" address.

Where: Westminster College, Fulton

When: March 5-6

Ticket information and event details:; (573) 592-5234

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Churchill spoke at the Fulton campus on March 5, 1946, coining the "Iron Curtain" as the post-World War II name for the barrier between Western Europe and the Soviet bloc. The celebration will be held at the National Churchill Museum, which is at Westminster.

As part of the weekend, Chesterfield artist Don Wiegand plans to reveal his "Iron Curtain" sculpture. The bronze bas-relief depicts Churchill at the podium delivering his historic speech. Wiegand said he is making use of "negative space," leaving parts of the scene intentionally incomplete. Podium and speaker emerge from the bronze but are not fully formed. 

Wiegand, who has been working on the piece for about two years with the help of his staff, said details such as Churchill's bow-tie and watch chain have been thoroughly researched and planned.

“It’s very historically accurate," he said. "We have vintage microphones from the period as models.”

Wiegand, known for his pieces honoring Bob Hope and Charles A. Lindbergh, said this one has been extremely important to him and might be his and his team's best work to date.

“This will be one of our finest hours,” he said — a nod to a famous statement by the former British prime minister.

Wiegand is working on the project through his family foundation.

“We love our country, and we’re using art and history to thank people,” he said. “My work is really based on the God-given right of freedom. It’s dedicated to the importance of what life is really about.”

After weather-related setbacks, Wiegand still hopes to have the sculpture ready in time for the Churchill Weekend.


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