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London 2012 Olympic Cauldron...


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Well spotted. That's definitely edging into the disrespectful zone, and the IOC may make a point of discouraging such activities at Sochi and Rio.

Not really. Gosh, u gotta be practical. I'm sure the IOC would rather the logistics be safe than sorry. I mean the whole idea is nothing but a pagan symbol anyway. It's NOT some sacred deity FGS! :rolleyes:

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u gotta be practical. I'm sure the IOC would rather the logistics be safe than sorry. I mean the whole idea is nothing but a pagan symbol anyway. It's NOT some sacred deity FGS! :rolleyes:

But symbols matter to human beings, and so does respect. The relighting after the OC was handled with respect; the relighting before the CC could have been handled in a similar way.

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I still the the cauldron was one of the most poorly executed aspects of London's Games. For me it goes down in history as a failure. Interesting sculpture working with interesting ideas, but a truly lousy cauldron.

I agree. The narrative and lighting moment was great, but it completely fails as a functioning cauldron. Totally out of scale and undemocratic inside the stadium. I will never forget the image of that old chap re-igniting the cauldron with a forklift. It feels so disrespectful and ill-conceived idea. And with the recent plagiarism debacle, I am even less impressed with Heatherwick no matter what he and Boyle say. I am convinced Atopia's idea somehow made it into the DNA of the design. Hopefully the truth will be out one day.

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I'm the opposite. I loved the cauldron itself - to me one of the most beautiful of them all. The lighting, to me, however was an anti-climax, and the fact it was not visible at all in the first week of competition and then only within the stadium was a big pity.

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I agree. The narrative and lighting moment was great, but it completely fails as a functioning cauldron. Totally out of scale and undemocratic inside the stadium. I will never forget the image of that old chap re-igniting the cauldron with a forklift. It feels so disrespectful and ill-conceived idea. And with the recent plagiarism debacle, I am even less impressed with Heatherwick no matter what he and Boyle say. I am convinced Atopia's idea somehow made it into the DNA of the design. Hopefully the truth will be out one day.

And if the truth includes the discovery that Atopia's David Turnbull and Jane Harrison, who were teaching in London in the early 1990s, saw and therefore perhaps unconsciously plagiarised Thomas Heatherwick's 1993 multi-part chalice?

It wold have been perfect in a stadium like Berlin, the thing itself was stunning, but far too focused on the OC, it seems like no one thought of what would happen to it after July 27.

On the contrary, they thought very plainly that it should go in the same relative position as the London 1948 cauldron, and be made visible outside the stadium via TV screens. However, many people disapproved, and I agree with DarJoLe that Rio's cauldron will be the one to watch in terms of effectivenes vs eco-friendliness.

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And if the truth includes the discovery that Atopia's David Turnbull and Jane Harrison, who were teaching in London in the early 1990s, saw and therefore perhaps unconsciously plagiarised Thomas Heatherwick's 1993 multi-part chalice?

Oh please, JMark. For that matter, anything any artist/writer/designer, etc., etc. has been influenced by everything the moment the human being OPENS his eyes in the morning. What about Sendall's conception of the use of Glastonbury Tor and the torch-bearer coming out of there? What about the glowng "duvets" of the NHS sequence? One or two coincidences might be forgivable...but THREE solid instances? Not to mention:

- the rising smokestacks in Pandemonium? Remember these from Beijing 2008?

536-04AUG08-003W.jpg

Plus, the idea was also "inspired" by same in the Cirque du Soleil-Vegas show on the Beatles, Love, running since 2006?

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And what about Mr. Bean and CHARIOTS OF FIRE? I mean parody, yes, but ANOTHER unoriginal thought on the part of Boyle and team. A year after the show, I've come to realize that the London 2012 was a whole pastiche of "lifted" ideas.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Oh please, JMark. For that matter, anything any artist/writer/designer, etc., etc. has been influenced by everything the moment the human being OPENS his eyes in the morning. What about Sendall's conception of the use of Glastonbury Tor and the torch-bearer coming out of there? What about the glowng "duvets" of the NHS sequence? One or two coincidences might be forgivable...but THREE solid instances? Not to mention:

- the rising smokestacks in Pandemonium? Remember these from Beijing 2008?

536-04AUG08-003W.jpg

Plus, the idea was also "inspired" by same in the Cirque du Soleil-Vegas show on the Beatles, Love, running since 2006?

09.jpg

And what about Mr. Bean and CHARIOTS OF FIRE? I mean parody, yes, but ANOTHER unoriginal thought on the part of Boyle and team. A year after the show, I've come to realize that the London 2012 was a whole pastiche of "lifted" ideas.

that is rather a weak argument. those are 'columns' from the 'emperor and his bitches' part of the Beijing OC. and yes the smoke stacks from the OC were INSPIRED by the love musical but the OC depicted the industrial revolution love depicted liverpool after the war.

stop making mountains out of molehills.

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stop making mountains out of molehills.

Huwag kang maka-ilam. I'm NOT. I'm just illustrating how lame JMark's previous argument was that the Atopia people were possibly "influenced" by having seen Heatherwick's earlier Chalice work. really? :rolleyes: THAT is making a mountain of a molehill. MYOB. :angry:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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And if the truth includes the discovery that Atopia's David Turnbull and Jane Harrison, who were teaching in London in the early 1990s, saw and therefore perhaps unconsciously plagiarised Thomas Heatherwick's 1993 multi-part chalice?

I've seen Heatherwick's student work Chalice and I am surprised Heatherwick even has the cheek to bring this into the argument to prove that the cauldron is inspired by that. It looks nothing like the cauldron, a very weak and far-fetched evidence. Almost like a desperate attempt to save his butt.

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And if the truth includes the discovery that Atopia's David Turnbull and Jane Harrison, who were teaching in London in the early 1990s, saw and therefore perhaps unconsciously plagiarised Thomas Heatherwick's 1993 multi-part chalice?

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Oh please, JMark. For that matter, anything any artist/writer/designer, etc., etc. has been influenced by everything the moment the human being OPENS his eyes in the morning. What about Sendall's conception of the use of Glastonbury Tor and the torch-bearer coming out of there? What about the glowng "duvets" of the NHS sequence? One or two coincidences might be forgivable...but THREE solid instances?

More on your opening sentences at the bottom, but meanwhile:

Rachel Wingfield (the duvet lady) has a case, but it's up to her to pursue it, because Boyle and co. will have been advised not to feed the trolls.

Sendall doesn't have a case (he even admits that he had technical advice on his mound from the designers of the earlier spiral mounds made from the rubble of the old Wembley Stadium). (That's Wembley, London, the spiritual home of Danny Boyle's favourite sport).

Atopia's case is much weaker than they suppose, because what they think are their original ideas are actually just implementations of concepts in the London Bid.

Not to mention:

- the rising smokestacks in Pandemonium? Remember these from Beijing 2008?

536-04AUG08-003W.jpg

If you had paid attention to "By Strange Conveyance" you would know that I had included exactly that comparison in my presentation of the London OC as a yin/yang response to the Beijing OC.

Plus, the idea was also "inspired" by same in the Cirque du Soleil-Vegas show on the Beatles, Love, running since 2006?

09.jpg

We've been here before, and I would still suggest that both "Love" and the 2012 OC were directly inspired by the film "Yellow Submarine" which was specifically referenced in the "Pandemonium" segment.

And what about Mr. Bean and CHARIOTS OF FIRE? I mean parody, yes, but ANOTHER unoriginal thought on the part of Boyle and team. A year after the show, I've come to realize that the London 2012 was a whole pastiche of "lifted" ideas.

Call them "adapted ideas" and we might be close to agreement. Nearly all ideas do have precedents- the trick in plagiarism cases is to work out exactly what those precedents are (for example, I have a vague memory of an even earlier "bored musician" skit, based on an orchestra member who only plays a single note every few bars). The discovery by complainants that their own "original" work may have been unconscious plagiarism is likely to be the cause of many quietly disappearing lawsuits.

I've seen Heatherwick's student work Chalice and I am surprised Heatherwick even has the cheek to bring this into the argument to prove that the cauldron is inspired by that. It looks nothing like the cauldron, a very weak and far-fetched evidence. Almost like a desperate attempt to save his butt.

I bow to your wisdom oh mighty sage. Apart from being circular, and apart from being made of metal, and apart from being assembled from a number of separate sections, and apart from the minor detail that the sections have stems and broaden at the top, and apart from the ceremonial purpose, and apart from the concept that individual pieces of the sculpture are to be given to different people, the chalice and the cauldron probably have nothing in common at all.

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  • 1 month later...

CORRECTION: Apparently St. Moritz did have an Olympic Flame, even if it hadn't a torch relay yet. You can see the flame at 1:17 in this video: http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675063363_Olympic-games_people-gather_teams-marching_hockey-match And apparently they had a man lighting the cauldron: http://winterolympics1948.blogspot.de/

Just came across your post, Fab. That man lighting the St. Moritz 1948 cauldron was the IOC president at the time, Sigfrid Edstrom.

Very coincidentally, the editor of the ISOH (Int'l Society of Olympic Historians) Journal, Volker Kluge, sent me a report on the whereabouts of the 1936 and 1948 winter cauldrons, and I reproduce part of here...a section relevant to IOC president Edstrom and some of the ceremonial/organizational glitches encountered at St. Moritz 1948...which I found most interesting and fascinating.

.There was a fiasco at the victory ceremony in the 500m speed skating, which had to be postponed because IOC President J. Sigrid Edström was not present and carried the medals on his person.

When the Edstrom had finally arrived, one of the two second-placed Americans was missing. During the ceremony the loudspeaker stopped working, and when contact was re-established, the Norwegian anthem was played twice by mistake for the Olympic champion Finn Helgesen. To make up for that, the anthem at the victory ceremony for the 5000 m race, also won by a Norwegian – Reidar Liaklev – was shortened by half, so that the Norwegian fans sang the rest of the song without accompaniment.

I believe the above are from first-hand reports Herr Kluge researched.

Also, re the St. Moritz opening, I once saw a privately shot full-color version of the OC (in brilliant color) on Utube. Altho it was an edited version of the OC, as I recall, it didn't show the cauldron. I have not seen the clip since; probably been taken down. But if there's anyone who can find it, it's probably Ikarus.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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  • 9 months later...

An epilogue to the Atopia claims:

London 2012 settles out-of-court in Olympic Cauldron design row

London 2012 has agreed an out-of-court settlement with a United States-based consultancy Atopia after a row erupted over the origins of the design of the Olympic Cauldron.

The firm claimed that between 2006 and 2008 it had developed concepts for the Games' sustainability pavilion to be built using flower-shaped elements, one for each participating nation that would be brought in by "bearers" and constructed during the Opening Ceremony, which took place two years ago today.

Atopia then highlighted the similarities between their designs and that of the Olympic Cauldron, developed by Heatherwick Studio, which featured 204 individual "petals", one for each participating nation, which were brought into the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony to build the Cauldron.

Atopia insisted it was not accusing anyone of plagiarism, but Thomas Heatherwick branded the claims as "spurious nonsense".

However, London 2012 has now acknowledged that Atopia did work on the proposed temporary sustainability pavilion for the Games.

A statement said it had submitted a proposal including: "the live-time construction of the pavilion in the Opening Ceremony for the Games; the pavilion being made from 200+ flower shaped forms, one for each of the participating nations; the flower-shaped forms to be brought into the Opening Ceremony by 'bearers' in each participating nations team; as part of the Ceremony the 'bearers' to pass each flower shaped form to the 'next generation' to be 'planted' and 'deployed' as a pavilion; and after the Games the flower shaped forms to be returned to the participating nations."

Joint liquidator Phillip Sykes added: "I can confirm that the settlement agreement between Atopia and LOCOG explicitly excludes any confirmation or acceptance of any liability on the part of LOCOG or anyone else.

"It is between Atopia and LOCOG and has no implications for any other party."

Heatherwick reiterated that the move had nothing to do with him.

"I knew nothing of this settlement until today and it has no implication for any of the creative team," he said.

"As we've said before, the design process was categorically our own, from start to finish."

London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony director Danny Boyle also insisted there was no foul play.

"We tried to acknowledge all inspirations and contributions, great and small, and while it's inevitable some were innocently overlooked, can assure everyone, the public, Atopia, LOCOG's liquidators, judges, lawyers, that at no point did any of the creative team involved in creating the Opening Ceremony see or hear about Atopia's work," he said.

"We studiously avoided any of LOCOG's development work prior to our involvement precisely so that we could create an original Ceremony, beholden to no one and based on what we saw as the best of British culture.

"It would beggar belief if we had taken, unacknowledged, an idea for so fundamental a part of the show from an American company."

Insidethegames

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reposting from legacy mode. credit to this is england

London 2012 Olympic Cauldron at Museum of London

It was the most closely guarded secret of the London 2012 opening ceremony. Two years on, the Olympic Cauldron is on display at the Museum of London.

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It was an unforgettable moment. Seven young athletes bearing torches jogged towards the centre of the London's Olympic Stadium.

The world caught its first glimpse of the cauldron - a stunning work of art. The athletes touched the edges of the cauldron with their torches, the flame spread and 204 copper petals burned brightly.

The long elegant stems gracefully rose and converged to form a great flame - a symbol the peaceful coming together of 204 nations.

Two years later, as the Commonwealth Games begin in Glasgow, elements of the centrepiece of the London Olympics, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, are on show in the heart of the City of London.

As you walk into the museum's new gallery, the first thing you see is an open section of the torch with 42 of the original steel stems.

You are struck by breathtaking ambition but equally the elegant simplicity of the cauldron.

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Further into the gallery, 55 stems stand 7m (23ft) upright, wooden moulds for the petals are displayed, while footage from the opening ceremony and the moment the cauldron was unveiled is played.

"It's the moment that the cauldron is lit that is the memorable thing," says Heatherwick. "It was challenging logistically, but that made it I hope more compelling."

However, the apparently seamless moment when the cauldron was lit could have been a complete disaster, he admits.

"To be very honest with you, it never worked, fully, until the actual ceremony," Heatherwick says.

"The most moving moment I've had in my life, was the moment when they started to lift and there was this huge gasp."

The exhibition's curator Georgina Young says the lighting of the cauldron was a "real tipping point" in the public's attitude towards the Games.

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"We noticed a change in sentiment," she says. "The negativity and anxiety before the Games turned into something positive."

"You can see that through people's responses through social media during the ceremony," she adds

"To see it pulled off so seamlessly was a spine tingling moment - it was witnessed by billions and the impression it gave was that London was positive, exciting and working properly."

"It suddenly felt London 2012 was going to be special."

To make the cauldron moment a surprise, its execution was shrouded in a secrecy of Bond-esque proportions.

"The cauldron was tested at 3am and there were no-fly zones over the park," says Ms Young.

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Former Olympic medallist Sharron Davies, who was also London 2012 ambassador, said: "It was also a complete surprise to so many people.

"A lot of my friends were in on the secret and they were desperately trying not to drop any hints."

Gemma Webster, one of the engineers who built the cauldron, says: "We weren't allowed to tell anybody. I wasn't allowed to go home and tell my family."

"All the drawings, if they weren't used were shredded, everything was top secret," she adds.

Heatherwick says: "It's exciting to reveal the engineering feats that were necessary to make such an extraordinary project happen."

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With Olympians looking ahead towards Rio 2016, it is hard to imagine how the lighting of London's Olympic Cauldron could be matched.

"The bringing together of many torches was unique to London," says Dr Dave O'Brien, lecturer in cultural policy at City University.

"It will be interesting to see if that influences future designs for the Games."


BBC

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An epilogue to the Atopia claims:

I really hope that at least some of LOCOG's correspondence with Atopia has been preserved in the National Archives, so that maybe in 30 years we can determine, for example, whether or not Atopia deliberately delayed taking formal action until just after all LOCOG's staff and directors had been laid off, leaving the case in the hands of the liquidators, whose sole responsibility was to tidy up.

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Interesting that the cauldron is on display again, especially with the official consent by Thomas Heatherwick. Wasn't his idea originally that the cauldron should be ephemeral and the only things left permanently over should be the individual petals sent home to the participating nations? I guess he and/or the former ceremonial team realised that its's not exactly a dignified use for the base of a former Olympic and Paralympic cauldron is not if it catches dust in some warehouse or wherever they had stored that base in the past two years.

And that also raises the question what will happen to the cauldron after the exhibition at the Museum of London. Or will the cauldron stay there as permanent exhibit?

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Interesting that the cauldron is on display again, especially with the official consent by Thomas Heatherwick. Wasn't his idea originally that the cauldron should be ephemeral and the only things left permanently over should be the individual petals sent home to the participating nations? I guess he and/or the former ceremonial team realised that its's not exactly a dignified use for the base of a former Olympic and Paralympic cauldron is not if it catches dust in some warehouse or wherever they had stored that base in the past two years.

And that also raises the question what will happen to the cauldron after the exhibition at the Museum of London. Or will the cauldron stay there as permanent exhibit?

from what i can gather, the petals are actually the back-up test petals. so the idea is still there. i was hoping they turned into fountain like what they did in sydney2000. but i do hope it has a place in the QE olympics park

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what will happen to the cauldron after the exhibition at the Museum of London. Or will the cauldron stay there as permanent exhibit?

From the Museum's website, it seems it will:

"a new home for the London 2012 Cauldron will tell the story of this iconic symbol"

From July 2014 a new home for the London 2012 Cauldron will tell the story of this iconic symbol of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. - See more at: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/exhibitions-displays/the-london-2012-cauldron-designing-moment/#sthash.5zjUlQQA.dpuf
From July 2014 a new home for the London 2012 Cauldron will tell the story of this iconic symbol of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. - See more at: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/exhibitions-displays/the-london-2012-cauldron-designing-moment/#sthash.5zjUlQQA.dpuf
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There was a lot of discussion between Heatherwick Studios, the BOA, the IOC and the Museum of London regarding this display, fully aware of the cauldron's place that it was a structure for the Games and the whole notion of it 'coming together' for the Games-time only would be diluted.

The article doesn't show it but the cauldron is actually only a quarter of the structure, surrounded by mirrors to give the impression of a whole. The petals are the test versions, the original moulds which were never used at Games time. The United Kingdom's actual Games-time petal that was lit at the Opening Ceremony is placed to the side on another wall explaining this and has images of the other petals with their respective Olympic Association teams.

Given the nature of the Museum, and the ever changing rotation of exhibits within the space, I'd imagine this will be the last time to ever see a substantial portion of the cauldron back together, so to speak.

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JMarkSnow2012 is right:

DONATE now and help keep alive the spirit of London 2012! Plus, share your memories for the chance to appear at the museum.

The Cauldron was an iconic symbol of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the world held its breath as the copper petals were lit, one by one, for the first time. Thomas Heatherwick’s iconic design now has a new permanent home at the Museum of London from 25th July, enabling visitors to see this remarkable sculpture up close, free of charge.

This project is supported by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. However we need your support to raise the additional funds needed. London 2012 united people in quite a remarkable way - DONATE now, share your memories and help keep that spirit alive.

National Funding Scheme - https://www.nationalfundingscheme.org/museum-of-london/MOL001#.U9fylPl_uLY

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