May 22 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, July 15, 2012
It is neither a bird or a plane, but one new eye-catching new landmark at London City Airport is set to grab the attention of Olympic tourists.
Fliers will be greeted by the newly installed Athena tower before they touch down in Silvertown.
The 12-metre high bronze sculpture - the tallest of its kind in the UK - was unveiled by East Ham MP Stephen Timms.
It was designed by Newham-born artist Nasser Azam, who has artwork on show at the National Botanical Gardens in Dublin and the Westminster Park Plaza.
The ex-Langdon School pupil said: “I grew up in Newham and for some time have wanted to give something back to the community there
“The location is tremendous given the development that has already taken place around the Royal Docks and the planned regeneration will create a key business and leisure hub, not only for Newham but also for London.”
“I developed the sculpture to be an unambiguous form that is uplifting, inspiring and easily recognizable.”
Athena has its roots in Greek mythology, giving it a link to the Olympic Games.
Planning permission for the sculpture was granted by Newham Council in January this year. Mayor Sir Robin Wales also attended the ceremony.
“We are proud to welcome Nasser’s Athena,” he said.
“Nasser is helping to contribute to what is already an exciting year. Residents and visitors cannot fail to see how much the area is changing, with regeneration happening across the borough.
He added: “Newham is swiftly becoming an exciting new cultural destination in the heart of the East End.”