Greek statue to be unveiled in Greenwich to mark the end of London 2012
By poppy_smith | Friday, September 07, 2012, 19:25
A Greek statue will be unveiled on Sunday in London's farewell to the 2012 Games.
Olympic Gold Medallist and Triple Jump world record holder Jonathan Edwards will formally unveil a statue of Nike, the ancient Greek Goddess of Victory, to mark London's role as host of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The four-metre high statue - created by world-renowned sculptor Pavlos Angelos Kougioumtzis - will form a permanent legacy for London at its new home on the Thames riverside at Woolwich.
The ceremony will begin at 11.15am at the Royal Arsenal on Sunday 9 September, the final day of the London Paralympic Games.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich was selected as the permanent location of the statue, which is a gift from the Ancient City of Olympia to London as Host City for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Ancient City of Olympia initiated the tradition of presenting a statue of Nike to each Olympic and Paralympic host city in 1996 to mark the centenary of the modern Olympic era.
The Ancient City is the site for the lighting of the Olympic Torch, lit by the rays of the sun to herald the start of each Olympiad.
The statue will be officially unveiled at its new home in front of the Dial Arch on the Royal Arsenal Riverside in Woolwich by Jonathan Edwards who will be joined by Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Councillor David Grant, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Councillor Chris Roberts, and the sculptor Pavlos Angelos Kougioumtzis who has created the artwork.
Members of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will form a mounted guard at the ceremony, which will be marked with a fanfare by a bugler from the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. Both regiments are stationed at nearby Woolwich Barracks, which has served as the spectacular venue for the shooting events in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Paralympic archery events.
The unveiling ceremony will end with a performance by the Greenwich Concert Band at 1.30pm, to be followed by free programme of music and entertainment in nearby General Gordon Square from 2.30pm until 8pm.
Councillor Roberts said: "Royal Greenwich is proud and honoured to receive this sculpture, on behalf of London, from the ancient city of Olympia.
"In Greenwich, and in London as a whole, the opportunity to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been welcomed wholeheartedly by the community, and as they draw to a close it is clear that the Games have indeed lived up to their promise of inspiring future generations.
"The feats of sporting excellence from athletes across the globe have been an inspiration for us all, and we have been honoured to witness the Olympic and Paralympic spirit and ideals being lived out in our own city over these past six weeks.
"The arrival of Nike in the Royal Arsenal today is an important contribution to the cultural legacy of these Games. Her siting here is a fitting encounter between the old and the new, with this ancient Goddess now taking her place in a site that represents the kind of regenerated modern urban community that London's civic leaders are keen to build."
Following the unveiling ceremony, the Live Site in General Gordon Square will be taking part in the nationwide Bandstand Marathon - the official closing event of the London 2012 Festival, which features simultaneous performances in bandstands and outdoor spaces taking place across the UK.
In addition, the Woolwich Live Site will broadcast live coverage throughout the day of the final events in the Paralympic Games, including the closing ceremony from 8.30pm. Street entertainers will perform through the day.
The Bandstand Marathon is included in the Paralympic closing programme, just as bell ringing was incorporated into the start of the Olympic Games. Following the Bandstand Marathon there will be additional entertainment on stage to celebrate the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games with contributions from bands that performed as part of the street entertainment across three locations in Greenwich.
The event will take place between 12pm and 6pm in General Gordon Square, Woolwich.
- Greenwich Concert Band
- Chickenwing Alstars
- Billroth String quartet
- Fabulous Whelk Brothers.