Beersheba's Soroka Hospital has decided to take a new approach to helping patients heal, and has officially inaugurated its new "Garden of Statues" in the hospital grounds, reports www.mynet.co.il. The two-dunam garden, which contains several statues sculpted by Negev artists set among winding paths and green lawns, aims to provide a peaceful and relaxing spot for patients and their visitors to use while in hospital. According to the report, more than 40 local artists responded to the hospital's call to come up with suitable statues for the garden. Three large works were chosen for the garden, and others have been placed at other sites around the hospital. Hospital director Dr. Michael Sherf said studies had shown that there was a "significant improvement in the healing process" when a hospital's environment gave patients a feeling of relaxation, and that Soroka considered the use of the art works as "an accelerating factor in curing patients."