Beijing Olympic sculptures come to Capital

4 October 2007

Beijing Olympic sculptures come to Capital

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The Five Elements *******The Beijing Olympic Games – or at least the 2008 Olympic Landscape Sculpture Contest Exhibition – come to Wellington on Friday 12 October.

The exhibition, in the Michael Fowler Centre’s Renouf Foyer, is free and runs until Monday 15 October. It then goes to Fiji and Chicago.

Inspired by the immortal sculptures of ancient Athens, the Beijing Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (BOCOG) organised an international competition in 2005. Artists from around the world were invited to submit their sculpture designs, depicting some aspect of the Olympic Games or the Olympic Movement. More than 2000 entries from 90 countries were received.

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Colossus the Olympic*******

In 2006 the exhibition was formed after a panel of judges selected their 110 favourite pieces. After its tour to major cities with an Olympic connection, the judges will award 29 of these sculptures with gold, silver and bronze medals. They will be shown at various Beijing sites during next year’s Games.

Derek Fry, Wellington City Council’s Director of City Services and Events, says Wellington is fortunate to host the exhibition. “We’d like to thank the Beijing Organising Committee and the New Zealand Olympic Committee for helping bring us this unique exhibition. These works are a visual treat, and convey the Olympic spirit.”

>From the earthy energy of The Five Elements to the gravitas of Colossus the Olympic, the works will impress people. Finely wrought in high-quality materials such as copper and bronze, the sculptures have a substantial heft (weighing on average more than 50kg) and presence. In various styles, they are full of imagination, demonstrating the themes of peace, friendship, competition, harmony and progress.

Pierre de Coubertin founded the modern Olympic Movement in 1894, recognising the value that sport could play in developing the “Body, Will and Mind”. Cultural activities and competitions have remained an integral part of the Olympic Movement and, in particular, art with an Olympic dimension has been exhibited at Olympic Games since 1912.

Scoop/Welllington City Councel