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China-UK friendship statue unveiled in Royal Docks

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 August 2012

The sculpture with its maker and Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales Picture: Andrew Baker

The sculpture with its maker and Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales Picture: Andrew Baker

Archant

This is the spectacular bronze sculpture recently unveiled in the Royal Docks.

The dramatic artwork, called the China-UK Friendship Polo Match, was inaugurated at a special ceremony attended by Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales and councillors.

It is called the “Polo Group Sculpture” made by Huang Jian, a renowned Chinese sculptress. It aims to carry forward the Olympic spirit, developing friendship among different countries. Currently, two sets of the group sculpture have been completed – “Emperor Ming Huang and Lady Yang Playing Polo” and “China-UK Friendship Polo Match”. The creation of the group sculpture will continue for every Olympic Games in the future.

The “Polo Match” sculpture is a surreal piece based on two Chinese ancient polo fans and two British modern polo lovers who travel through time and space and gather in London’s Olympic Park for a polo game.

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: “The Royal Docks is a fitting setting for this magnificent sculpture, which we are delighted to welcome.

“This area was once thriving and then it fell into decline, so it’s great to see it buzzing with activity and massive potential again during Olympics.

“The East End is a place of diversity, culture and entrepreneurship. For us, the astonishing transformation here is all about our people and making the most of a new era.”

Speaking through a translator, Huang said: “My sculpture has found a fitting home. The backdrop of the Docks and City airport is amazing.”

The “Polo Group Sculpture” has previously been displayed in the China (Beijing) International Cultural & Creative Industry Expo (ICCIE), which was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Culture and the Beijing Municipal People’s Government, attracting more than 700,000 visitors.

After the London Games, it is planned to permanently install the sculpture in the Olympic Park.

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