The eyes of the world will be on Hadrian’s Wall next summer as the Roman monument plays its part in helping celebrate London 2012.
It was announced today that the World Heritage Site has been chosen to host one of the high profile arts events planned for the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular three month long series of nationwide cultural events running alongside the main sporting games.
The installation is still under development, but it is being designed by the New York-based artists’ collective YesYesNo with the promise it will be accessible to visitors at several locations and worldwide via the internet.
Those charged with preserving and selling the wall to visitors are understandably elated it will play a central role in the London 2012 Festival – the finale of the four year Cultural Olympiad which began in 2008 – which will bring together leading artists from across the UK and the globe in what has already been described as an “extraordinary, once in a lifetime” series of events to coincide with the Olympics.
Linda Tuttiett, chief executive of Hadrian’s Wall Heritage, said: “We are absolutely delighted about the investment in Hadrian’s Wall and to be involved in this iconic arts event with the Cultural Olympiad team, and we are now working closely with the artist.
“The commission is designed to showcase the north of England internationally using digital media, and follows on from the success of the Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall event in 2010 which was viewed by a huge worldwide audience through the internet and generated £3m for the local economy.
“We will be able to communicate the importance of the significant Roman Frontier and World Heritage Site and showcase our inspirational northern landscapes with the fantastic heritage cities of Carlisle and Tyneside to new audiences around the world.”
YesYesNo was founded by Zachary Lieberman and specializes in the creation of engaging, magical installations that combine creativity, artistic vision and cutting edge technology.
The London 2012 Festival will open on Midsummer’s Day, June 21, and run until the Paralympics’ last day on September 9. More than three million people are expected to attend over 1,000 events across the UK over the 12 weeks.
Overall, the festival will feature everything from live music set to Hitchcock silent films to exhibitions from some of the UK’s leading artists, as well as new theatre commissions and free performances to run alongside the sporting events of the Olympic Games, giving people across the nation the chance to celebrate and join in London 2012 wherever they are.
More information on the programme can be found at www.london2012.com/festival.