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Heatherwick’s Olympic Cauldron to go on display at Museum of London

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The Museum of London is set to open a new gallery housing the Olympic Cauldron designed by Heatherwick Studio for London 2012

Two sections of the cauldron, which was made of 204 copper elements, will go on permanent display in a new gallery which tells the tale of its construction.

The exhibition will be housed in a pavilion designed and built in the museum’s courtyard by Stage One – the firm responsible for the manufacture of the cauldron and this year’s Smiljan Radic-designed Serpentine Pavilion.

Behind-the-scenes films, technical drawings and objects from the production stage – including a selection of the wooden forming blocks on which each copper element was individually crafted – will also form part of the exhibition.

It will be the museum’s first new gallery since 2010 and the sections of the Olympic Cauldron will be the largest objects it has ever acquired.

Thomas Heatherwick said: ‘It’s a huge honour for Heatherwick Studio that the Museum of London have decided to collect and archive the original mechanism of the cauldron and that a new gallery has been built specifically to exhibit and share it with Londoners and the world.

‘The cauldron design was kept secret until it was revealed at the opening ceremony, which created an engaging and engrossing experience for many. It’s exciting to reveal the engineering feats that were necessary to make such an extraordinary project happen. The exhibition will give the public the chance to revisit a moment at the heart of London’s most successful sporting event.’

Jim Tinsley, technical director at Stage One, added: ‘Heatherwick Studio’s cauldron was not just one of the most unusual and complex devices we have ever built - it was also the one that gave us the most pleasure to solve. The whole thing was extraordinary: the chance to work with a creative yet highly precise and logical mind like Thomas’s, on a global hold-your-breath moment that worked so, so beautifully. We might have been tearing our hair out at times, but what a joy, what a privilege.’

The exhibition opens on 25 July.  

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