26ft Olympic Rings to be located on Mound

Olympic Rings on the Mound have been the subject of debate
Olympic Rings on the Mound have been the subject of debate
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A SET of 26ft-high Olympic Rings are to be located on The Mound after the controversial proposals were approved today, despite concerns the decision could serve as a precedent and lead to more promotional installations.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport had applied to place the huge aluminium rings as a focal point for Olympic celebrations this summer.

Rings will now be mounted on a podium close to the entrance to the Church of Scotland’s New College building after approval was given by city councillors on Wednesday.

The Agitos, the insignia for the Paralympic Games, will also be sited on The Mound when the event is launched at the culmination of this summer’s Olympics.

Original proposals to locate the Olympic Rings and The Agitos on Edinburgh Castle - which would have cost taxpayers £200,000, were withdrawn in the face of huge public opposition and the Say No to Coe campaign run by the Evening News.

Consertative city centre councillor Joanna Mowat, who opposed the plans for the rings, suggested the decision to approve the bid could result in more applications from other groups seeking publicity.

She added: “If there was any traffic on Princes Street it would be a hazard with people looking around to say ‘what the hell is this?’”.

Green councillor Steve Burgess, who also sits on the planning committee, added: “I’m not particularly convinced of the need [of this] to the Olympic movement.”

Councillors approved the bid despite the concerns.

Deputy council leader Steve Cardownie, who opposed the Edinburgh Castle bid but said The Mound was an acceptable alternative, has previously insisted the move would not give rise to further installations.

The Olympic rings will be visible throughout much of the city centre city, including Princes Street.

The London 2012 Olympics run from 27 July to 12 August and the Olympic torch will visit Edinburgh on 13 June, when there will be an evening celebration.

The Paralympic Games run from 29 August to 9 September and there will also be a Paralympic torch flame festival in the city on the 26 August.

A separate offer to put the rings at the Hillend Ski centre in Midlothian was previously rejected by planners in Midlothian.