Poppy display at Tower of London to be extended following overwhelming public demand

Segments of the installation will go on tour before finding a permanent home at the Imperial War Museum

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The Independent Online

Four million people are expected to have seen the stunning display of 888,246 ceramic poppies at the Tower of London by Armistice Day, and after weeks of public campaigning the installation will be part extended, David Cameron has said.

The Weeping Willow and Wave segments of the display will stay in place until the end of November, whereupon the poppies will go on a tour of the country before being placed in a permanent exhibition at the Imperial War Museum.

The Prime Minister said the installation, created to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, had become a “much loved and respected monument” in a short space of time.

“I think the exhibition of the poppies has really caught public imagination, people have found it incredibly moving,” Mr Cameron said.

“What we’ve managed to do is find a way of saving part of the exhibition for the nation and making sure it will be seen by many more people.

“Then it will be permanently saved by the Imperial War Museum – I think the right place for it to be - and something that marks the fact that everybody has found it so moving, so poignant, and such a brilliant idea,” he added.

The rest of the poppies will be dismantled as planned on 12 November by a team of 8,000 people, before the ceramic flowers are sent to their new individual owners.

Paul Cummins, who created the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation, said last week that “it would be nice” to keep the poppies on display, but that the piece was intended to show the transience of human existence, and that “it belongs to the world now”.

The poppies have all been sold, and are priced at £25 each. All net proceeds plus 10 per cent are to be shared between six service charities, including the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.  

The Government has pledged £500,000 to help fund the tour of the poppies, which will run until 2018, with added donations from the Backstage Trust and the Clore Duffield Foundation.