In the buildup to London's hosting duties of the 2012 Olympics, the city's planners have created a "Cultural Olympiad" to generate buzz, highbrow British style. Twelve new public works of art are slated to open, the Royal Shakespeare Co. will produce a Shakespearean festival, a film competition will inspire the next wave of British filmmakers and Windsor Castle will be illuminated by a dazzling light show. The city plans to invest around $70 million in the project.
Lord Sebastian Coe, the chair of London's organizing committee for the 2012 Games, will even participate in Martin Creed's conceptual piece of moving sculpture currently on exhibit at the Tate, a piece featuring a runner sprinting across the museum galleries every 30 seconds, followed by an equivalent pause. The museum is calling it the "purest expression of human vitality."
The hope, organizers say, is to connect sports and the arts and provide a major injection of culture that will inspire young artists the way Michael Phelps makes you want to don a Speedo.