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Statue of Nike unveiled in Woolwich to mark end of Olympic and Paralympic Games
12:09pm Monday 10th September 2012 in News
A STATUE of the Greek goddess of victory Nike - donated from Olympia - has been unveiled in Woolwich.
The four metre statue, created by sculptor Pavlos Angelos Kougioumtzis, was unveiled at the Royal Arsenal development on Sunday, the final day of the Games.
In 1996 the ancient city of Olympia, where the torch is lit every four years, initiated the tradition of presenting a statue of Nike to each Olympic and Paralympic host city.
Members of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery formed a mounted guard at the ceremony, marked with a fanfare by a bugler from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.
Greenwich Council leader Councillor Chris Roberts said: "The arrival of Nike in the Royal Arsenal today is an important contribution to the cultural legacy of these Games.
"Her sitting here is a fitting encounter between the old and the new, with this ancient goddess now taking her place in a site that represents the kind of regenerated modern urban community that London’s civic leaders are keen to build."
Cllr Roberts also confirmed that an agreement had been signed twinning Greenwich with Ancient Olympia.
Afterwards, crowds gathered at General Gordon Square to watch the final day's action on the big screen and enjoy live music.
Though the statue will remain in Greenwich borough, the council says no decision has yet been made on its permanent home.
A spokesman said: "Once Greenwich had been agreed as the statue's permanent home, the limited time available for selecting a site for the unveiling led to the Royal Arsenal being selected for reasons relating to the sculpture's weight, dimensions and the practicality of securing planning permissions.
"A proposal for the permanent siting of the statue will be made in the next few months.
"This could include the current location or another site elsewhere in the borough but it will not leave Greenwich.
"We are interested in the reaction of local people to the statue and views they may have as to the most appropriate location."