New light is shed on Olympic rings plan

Olympic Rings being erected on The Mound will be lit up at night in an effort to make them the focal point of London 2012 celebrations in the Capital.

Games chiefs hope the huge metal logo fixed to the grassy banks overlooking Princes Street will make a spectacular addition to the city skyline during the summer months.

It is hoped that the logo will provide a focus for sports fans from all nations celebrating the successes of their athletes.

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The Agitos, the traditional insignia for the Paralympic Games, will also be sited on The Mound when that competition kicks off at the culmination of this summer’s Olympics.

Both installations are subject to planning consent and will be funded by the UK Government.

A new planning application has been lodged at City Chambers, months after a controversial bid to fix the Olympic symbol to the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle was thrown out by Historic Scotland following a public outcry.

An Evening News campaign, “Say No To Coe”, gave a voice to opponents of the plan and heaped pressure on heritage chiefs to deny permission to fix the rings to Scotland’s most-visited tourist attraction.

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Midlothian Council then tried to grab the Olympic emblem after Provost Adam Montgomery wrote to Games chief Lord Sebastian Coe asking for Hillend to enter the running.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, deputy council leader and a vocal critic of the Castle plans, said he was “delighted” at the change of heart by the Westminster department responsible for driving through the London 2012 project, and credited the Evening News for its successful campaign.

“I feel that this site will be well received by the Edinburgh public and more than conforms to the city’s history and architecture,” he said.

“And I would commend the Evening News for the role it played in ensuring the rings went to the Mound, which is already associated with these type of displays, such as the Christmas tree.

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“Common sense has prevailed but the Evening News played a fantastic part in making sure that the application for Edinburgh Castle was withdrawn.”

And he added: “There was a fear that if they hadn’t found an appropriate site then Olympic organisers might have decided to go to Glasgow instead and what kind of publicity would that have been for the capital city of Scotland?”

The Olympic torch is due to visit Edinburgh on June 13, followed by a celebration that evening.

A Paralympic torch flame Festival will then take place in the city on August 26 while the Capital is also be taking part in the Cultural Olympiad, including the Speed of Light race that will see thousands of runners make their way around Arthur’s seat in special “light suits”.