Cultural Olympiad campaign discovering places launched at Houses of Parliament
Wednesday 21, July 2010
Jonathan Edwards, LOCOG Board member and Olympic Triple Jump gold medallist joined Loyd Grossman, Chair of the Heritage Alliance, at the Houses of Parliament – a World Heritage Site – to launch the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad ‘Discovering Places’ campaign.
Discovering Places will use the power of the Games to inspire communities across the UK to celebrate and discover the hidden gems on their doorstep, from historic castles to contemporary townscapes, woodland trails and local wildlife. Over the launch weekend of 23-25 July 2010, more than 100 exciting, free Discovering Places events will take place throughout the entire UK. Most of the events will be run on a voluntary basis and all will be free to anyone interested in discovering more about their local environment.
During their visit to the Palace of Westminster Jonathan and Loyd were given a guided tour of Westminster Hall, the oldest building within the Houses of Parliament. The tour is one of a series of guided tours of Parliament open to the public on Friday 23 July as part of the Discovering Places Cultural Olympiad weekend. Available tours include Westminster Hall, Crypt Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, The Contemporary Portrait Collection tour and the Victoria Tower. For more information on how to book limited availability tickets for these tours, go to http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/cultural-olympiad/discovering-places/
Some of the other exciting Discovering Places events planned across the country include guided walks, a Mad Hatterz Tea Party, a timed Mini-Bio Blitz, Geo Caching, archaeological excavations, mass picnics, treasure hunts, wildlife exploration and event a night time bat detection!
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture said: ‘With just two years to go until the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Cultural Olympiad is already show-casing the diversity of culture the UK has to offer.
‘Nowhere is this more marked than in the sheer range of our built, natural and historic environments. From the world famous to the unfamiliar, palaces to pubs and from castles to church crypts, Discovering Places will tell this country’s story through our surroundings – our wealth of buildings of striking appearance and those with a fascinating tale to tell, in a variety of unrivalled landscapes.
‘I hope that local people and visitors alike will enjoy this opportunity to explore some of the most attractive and unique locations in the UK.’
Jonathan Edwards CBE, LOCOG Board Member (Athlete Representative) and Deputy Chair of the London 2012 Nations and Regions Group said: ‘The Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games, designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012.
‘It’s great that this campaign is encouraging communities across the UK to celebrate and discover the hidden gems on their doorstep over Open Weekend.
‘These tours at the Houses of Parliament are a really exciting opportunity for people to discover this iconic World Heritage Site, and this is just one of many exciting Discovering Places events taking place this weekend across the UK.’
Loyd Grossman OBE FSA, Chair of the Heritage Alliance said: ‘With so many of us now leading busy lives our familiar environments often get overlooked. What Discovering Places challenges us to do is to take a brief pause and spend some time uncovering the unusual in the everyday. You may be surprised to find a whole new world on your doorstep!’
Dame Janet Paraskeva, Chair of the Olympic Lottery Distributor said: ‘It is important that local communities have the opportunity to discover and explore their local environment. As a major funder of the Cultural Olympiad we are delighted that National Lottery funding is supporting communities to do just that across the UK.’
The Discovering Places campaign launches on the London 2012 Open Weekend supported by BP - a weekend of sporting, arts and cultural challenges set up across the UK to share in the nation’s two year countdown to the start of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Now in its third year, Open Weekend enables everyone across the UK to share in the excitement of the Games and actively celebrate the two year countdown by challenging themselves to trying something new or taking an interest to a further level. Full listings can be found at http://www.london2012.com/get-involved/upcoming-events/index.php
Discovering Places is principally funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and delivered in partnership between The Heritage Alliance and London 2012.
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