Statue to be unveiled in Greenwich to mark end of Olympics
By JulieGK | Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 12:19
A Greek statue will be unveiled in London's farewell to the 2012 Games.
Greek statue to mark end of the Olympics.
The unveiling of a statue of Nike, the ancient Greek Goddess of Victory, will form the centrepiece of London's farewell to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on Sunday, September 9.
In a reflection of the Games's ancient Greek origins, the four-metre high statue statue, created by world-renowned sculptor Pavlos Angelos Kougioumtzis, is being presented to London, Host City for the 2012 Games, by the Ancient City of Olympia.
This ensures that the Games's ancient Greek origins – which are marked at the start of each Olympiad with the lighting of the Olympic Flame by the rays of the sun on Mount Olympus – will take centre stage at the Games's closing, as they were at the opening.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich was selected as the permanent location of the statue and the ceremony will begin at 11.15am at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, on Sunday, the final day of the London 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 statue will be officially unveiled at its new home in front of the Dial Arch on the Royal Arsenal Riverside in Woolwich by Councillor Chris Roberts, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, together with the sculptor Pavlos Angelos Kougioumtzis.
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 to 8pm.
Cllr 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."
The musical performances that follow the unveiling ceremony are part of the nationwide Bandstand Marathon which is the official closing event of the London 2012 Festival, featuring simultaneous performances in bandstands and outdoor spaces taking place across the UK.
In addition, the Live Site in nearby General Gordon Square 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.