The London 2012 Olympic Cauldron is the latest new permanent exhibition at the museum of London.
I was lucky enough to attend the Paralympic games in 2012 and saw the real cauldron up close in the stadium. It was simply stunning and took your breath away every time you saw it.
One of the best features of the cauldron was that after the Olympics it was dismantled and each country who participated in the games was presented with one of the beautiful copper petals. Although this was a wonderful sentiment it was sad to think that the cauldron was no more.
Now though a replica of the cauldron has been made and is now on permanent display at the museum of London for all to see and enjoy. I visited the exhibition this week for the first time and this is my experience.
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The museum has created a completely separate room for the new exhibition and on first approaching the room you notice the darkness ahead and the sounds of the Olympic closing ceremony.
The room is kept quite dimply lit which gives and air of excitement as you walk into the room. The first thing you see is the cauldron in the open position, with spot lights picking out the gleaming copper petals floating in mid air.
Cleverly the illusion of the whole cauldron has been given by using mirrors, in fact only a quarter to half of the structure is actually there but the mirrors give the whole effect a simply breathtaking appearance.
On the opposite side of the room another section appears but in the closed position forming the bowl of cauldron. Again mirrors give the illusion that the whole of the cauldron is in place.
Two large video screens are playing all the time and showing scenes from the closing ceremony of the Olympics with the flame of the cauldron being extinguished. Also there is a short film showing how the cauldron was designed and how all the individual copper petals were made. Although a small room these two video keep you there and engrossed in the experience. I must admit I had a lump in my throat as it all does give you the experience of the feeling of the Olympic games and what they mean regarding human endeavor.
One of my favorite exhibits was a wall of the casts made to make the petals from. You can see how they were made and how all the petals differ in shape and size so that they fit perfectly together when the bowl was created for the flames.
Another favorite was a set of picture from all the countries around the world who participated in the games and received a petal from the cauldron. The pictures show the representatives of the country along with their own petal back at home.
Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition and thought that it really did capture the spirit of the games and the beauty of the London 2012 Olympic cauldron. Personally I don't think there will ever be another one made which truly encapsulates the true meaning of the Olympics and how it brings the world together in peace through sport.
Anyway, go visit it as soon as you can, you won't be disappointed.
To compliment the opening of the new exhibition there is also a small area displaying the work of Nicolas Garland who was commissioned to be the official artist of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Here is a small sample of some of the wonderful works he created.
Click on the images for a bigger gallery view.
This is a temporary exhibition which coincides with the two year anniversary of the games in London.