An artist from St Albans is attempting to photograph 11 million hands to commemorate lives lost in World War II.

Franceska McCullough is collecting photos of people’s hands from all over the world, from all ages, all races, all religions and all lifestyles to memorialise the estimated 11 million people killed by the Nazis during World War II.

Ms McCullough started the project in September 2013, and expects it will take "many more" years to complete.

The 39-year-old who has been taking the pictures of hands on her phone said: "My project is about bringing the world’s human communities together in an effort to teach everyone all over the world about how precious all human life is regardless of who we are, what we look like, where we come from or what we believe in.

"It’s about remembering all the peoples killed by the Nazis regardless of their differences and each hand represents one individual life.

"I want to humanise the vast enormity of this human loss so that it never happens again and so that it’s no longer an abstract number but something we can visually relate to by visually connecting with the hands of all ages all around us.

"It’s my intention to project these images onto every surface possible, in exhibitions and in the landscape as a sort of digital graffiti that is viewable to everyone everywhere."

Among the 2,000 hands already submitted are those of WW2 veteran Robbie Clark. The 92-year-old was one of 80,000 prisoners of war made to walk the "Long March to Freedom" seventy years ago.

Yesterday marked 70 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Now officially designated Holocaust Memorial Day, it is the day where the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust are remembered.

Ms McCollough, who lives in Sandpit Lane, is also raising money for War Child, a charity which protects children from the brutal effects of war.

She added: "It’s my goal to bring people together from all over the world so that we embrace our differences rather than fight because of them.

"So far, I've had the wonderful support of St Helens Church in Wheathampstead thanks to a wonderful woman who encouraged the entire congregation to submit hand photos to my project.

"I've had individuals in St Albans sending me hand photos and have an incredible support system through a Facebook St Albans group.

"I've also had a great many people in other parts of the world submit hand photos. I've received photos of hands from new parents, children, babies, grandfathers, grandmothers, students, school children, Holocaust survivors, Kindertransport survivors, soldiers, and many more.

"I do still have a long way to go until I can reach 11 million so I'm asking for help from anyone in StAlbans and beyond who would be interested in sending hand photos to my project or letting me come to help take photos.

"All I need are photos of hands."

For more on the project, visit: