|Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal says ruby red steel tower in London is not Olympic cauldron |
A security member takes photos at the Orbit observation tower inside the Olympic park at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in London. The opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games are scheduled for Friday, July 27. AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti.
By: Danica Kirka, Associated Press
LONDON (AP).- Love it or loathe it one thing is for sure: The Orbit Tower is not the Olympic cauldron.
Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal says the ruby red steel tower that rises 35 stories above the Olympic Park and resembles a smashed roller coaster is not the cauldron that will hold the ceremonial flame. In an interview Monday, Mittal told The Associated Press that he had met with Olympic authorities about the possibility that the tower would be used for that, but the plans did not get drawn up in time for consideration.
"We were late," said Mittal, who was listed by the Sunday Times this year as the richest man in Britain.
Mittal's company, ArcelorMittal, donated the steel for the swirling centerpiece of the park and stumped up most of its 22.7 million-pound ($36.5 million) cost.
The lighting of the cauldron that holds the flame is always a big moment for the Olympics, and organizers usually withhold details about the opening ceremony and the flame lighting to ensure the appropriate drama. But usually there is some structure somewhere that hints where the flame will burn.
But not this time. The London cauldron's location remains a mystery.
Suspicion has long fallen on the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the abstract structure that just sits so close to the stadium one could watch the 100-meter final from its viewing platform. But Mittal says the tower is art to enhance the games that start Friday.
Meant to be a tourist landmark like Big Ben or the London Eye wheel, the abstract work of art has often been the subject of derision. London's newspapers have coined a few choice nicknames: the Eyeful Tower, the shisha pipe, the Hubble Bubble.
Mittal's not the least bit troubled that critics have tagged it as being the ugly duckling of the Olympic Park. It just needs to be understood, he told the AP.
"People are still trying to criticize the Mona Lisa," he said.
But it's hard to imagine what Leonardo Da Vinci would make of this. The 1,500-metric ton (1,650 ton) showcase sculpture of the London Olympics was designed by London-based artist Anish Kapoor, a previous winner of the prestigious Turner Prize, and his design partner Cecil Balmond. Their design, dominated by a looping lattice of tubular steel, won a competition for the games.
One of Britain's foremost artists, Kapoor is known for large-scale installations like "Marsyas" a giant blood-red PVC membrane that was displayed at London's Tate Modern museum in 2002 and "The Bean," a 110-ton (100-metric ton) stainless steel sculpture in Chicago's Millennium Park.
But the Orbit is a departure even for Kapoor, who based the tower on taking a point in space that is "orbited" by a dancing line of steel.
Mittal's latest comments mean the question of the London cauldron is still a burning issue.
In the ancient games, Greeks lit a ritual fire to commemorate Prometheus and his theft of fire from Zeus. There was a cauldron at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, but the idea of fires and torches and relays really took hold at the Nazi-backed 1936 Berlin Olympics, when organizers came up with the idea of a relay starting at Olympia in Greece.
The flame moment just kept getting bigger and bigger. Bill Mallon, and Olympic historian described it as a "wow" moment starting in 1952, when the Flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi, one of the best long- and middle-distance runners ever, brought the flame into the Helsinki stadium and Hannes Kolehmainen, another Finnish long-distance great who competed in 1912 and 1920, lit the cauldron.
After that, there was an arms race of flame moments. There was the archer at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics who lit the cauldron with a flaming arrow. And then there was the tear-jerk moment when Muhammad Ali, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, emerged from the shadows, his arm shaking, putting the torch to a wire that lit the cauldron in Atlanta in 1996.
One certainty remains for the tower: The public wants to take in the view.
Tickets for the tower during the July 27-Aug.12 London Olympics are already all sold out.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
July 24, 2012
Mexican archaeologists discover three 1,000 year old tombs near Monte Albán in Oaxaca
Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal says ruby red steel tower in London is not Olympic cauldron
Art collector Herbert Vogel, who with his U.S. postal clerk salary built a collection, dies at 89
Tate unveils first live commission in The Unilever Series created by the artist Tino Sehgal
One of China's foremost artists, Liu Xiaodong, now represented by Lisson Gallery
Philadelphia Museum of Art appoints Dr. Elizabeth Milroy as Curator of Education for Public Programs
2012 Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize shortlist announced
New large-scale sculpture by the Austrian artist Erwin Wurm installed at The Standard, New York
Cartier watches, rare gold coins, diamonds in Government Auction July 29 sale
"The Human Senses and Perception in Contemporary Art" on view at Kunsthalle zu Kiel
London Artist Sophie Smallhorn wraps Olympic Stadium 2012 in full spectrum of colour
Three major new art commissions for exhibition ROAD SHOW, a nine day festival
Munich 1972 Olympic posters: Art inspired by Olympic ideals at the Walker Art Gallery
Edward Allington sculpture exhibition opens in Canary Wharf
New digital platform for and about those at the leading edge of design goes live
E20 12 Under Construction: A visual exploration of the Olympic development by Giles Price
Spanish Colonial Arts Society announces a gift of fine Peruvian art from the Beltrán-Kropp Foundation
David Askevold's Once Upon a Time in the East journeys west to the Armory Center for the Arts
Britain's Royal Mail to issue Olympic champ stamps
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- 'World's oldest message in a bottle', tossed in sea 101 years ago, reaches granddaughter
2.- East-West/West-East: Qatar unveils desert sculpture by American artist Richard Serra
3.- Ming-era 'chicken cup' sells for $36.05 million breaking record for Chinese porcelain
4.- United States pastor Kevin Sutherland convicted over Damien Hirst fake paintings
5.- Major exhibition at Pinacothèque de Paris explores the myth of Cleopatra
6.- Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opens with inaugural exhibition "Van Gogh Live!"
7.- Landmark exhibition opens in New York exploring the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia
8.- Palm-sized scroll that mentions Jesus's wife is ancient: Harvard Theological Review
9.- Hitler's wife Eva Braun may have had Jewish ancestry: British television documentary
10.- Bonhams to sell Madame de Pompadour's favourite porcelain which surfaced in Devon after 350 years
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|