The London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, has barely started ramping up its publicity before it’s become embroiled in scandal.
Sharp-eyed commuters have spotted that HMS Belfast is missing from posters depicting an Olympics-pink ribbon racing around the Shard, More London and over Tower Bridge. In the wake of the FIFA/poppies affair it’s inevitably brought tabloid cries of ‘disrespect for our boys‘ but the reality is more prosaic: it seems the ship was removed from a landscape version of the poster because it was hidden by the slogan and made it difficult to read, and the agency simply forgot to put it back for the portrait. It’s perhaps more odd that one of the Thames’s biggest tourist attractions was taken out of a poster advertising a cultural festival in the capital. Could the text not have been moved a bit?
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has been rather more measured in its criticism of the plan to perform Martin Creed’s ’Work No.1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes’ at 8am on 27th July 2012, even while withdrawing support for the project. On their blog, they state they think the plan is “misconceived” and that ringing bells as fast as possible is “not really suitable for church bell ringers”, nor that 8am will be that convenient. (The factoid that the original plan was for the bells to ring at 4am – 4am! – to mark the arrival of the Olympic flame on British shores is one that had us clutching our duvets in horror.) Church campanologists are being left to decide for themselves whether to get involved.