Up to 28 screens are to be erected across Britain to broadcast action from the Beijing and 2012 Olympic Games. Permanent screens in Cardiff, Middlesbrough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Swansea and Waltham Forest will televise the Beijing Olympics, with others in Bristol and Norwich dependent upon planning permission.
LOCOG have stated that these screens will be part of the “lasting legacy” of the games, but others have given criticism. Sarah Gaventa, director of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) said:
“Just when we’re starting to create well-designed, civilised public space in many English towns, along comes a rash of intrusive neon screens.
“Having a fun, relaxed time in our streets and squares should come from the character and design of a place, not something that feels more like an outdoor Currys.
“This is not urban regeneration, and we have concerns about them being permanent.
“If it is going to work, funding needs to be earmarked for physical improvements to the spaces for which screens are proposed, and for proper curating to ensure the cultural programme is high quality.”
The screens will be financed by £2.6m of Lottery money, and further contributions from Lloyds TSB and BT.
An Olympic Party is also planned to mark the handover ceremony from Beijing to London. It will include performances from The Feeling, Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson and McFly (which will certain silence you dastardly detractors of British culture).
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