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July 27: Bob Hope dies, London Olympic opening ceremony | History | News …

1996: A terrorist bomb explodes at the Atlanta Olympics, killing two people

The explosion occurred at 1:25AM local time while a rock concert was taking place at the Centennial Olympic Park.

Firefighters said that up to 200 people may have been injured.

Police admitted to having received a warning phone call about the bomb, but said it was too late to evacuate the park.

Bill Clinton, U.S. President at the time, insisted that the Olympic Games continue, saying: “We must not let these attacks stop us from going forward.”

2003: Legendary comedian Bob Hope dies in California, aged 100

Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes in Eltham in 1903.

His career spanned over nearly 80 years, during which he appeared in over 70 films and hosted the Academy Awards 14 times.

The actor received a number of awards for his work as an entertainer and a humanitarian before passing away on July 27 2003, aged 100.

2012: The opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics takes place in London

The ceremony was watched by 62,000 people in the stadium while one billion people around the world tuned in to watch on television.

David Beckham, Bradley Wiggins, Mr Bean and James bond were among the big names to participate in the opening ceremony.

The ceremony was directed by Academy Award-winning British director Danny Boyle. He was then offered a knighthood but declined.

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Chiefs fan’s guide to the London game – Arrowhead Pride

From the FanPosts -Joel

I moved to London a year ago, and never expected to go to a local Chiefs game. Needless to say, I was pretty thrilled to hear that the Chiefs had a game this year. I know that it will be hard to muster the same homefield advantage that Arrowhead provides the Chiefs, but I thought I would do my part by trying to convince some of you to come to London.

It is impossible to justify the cost of a London trip simply to see a football game, so here are some logistical tips and fun things to do while you are here. This is a great place to visit, and some simple planning will make your trip more enjoyable.

Transportation

Most people will land at Heathrow Airport. Simply do NOT take a cab, or private transport – it will cost you a boatload, and it will be slower than public transportation. However, do go Heathrow Express – it is connected to all terminals in Heathrow, leaves every 15 minutes, and takes 15 minutes to get to Paddington Station which is close to the center of the city, and on the tube line. Buy a Return fare (that is Roundtrip to you and me), and you will save money (it is approx GBP 14 each way). An alternative is the underground, called the Tube. The Piccadily line connects Heathrow to central London, and costs GBP 5. It will take over an hour though.

Roads in London are awful so unless it is a short destination, avoid cabs. Uber does work if you have phone connectivity. The Tube and bus system is awesome, and should be your primary transportation method. Buy an Oyster card the first time you arrive at the Underground – and choose between unlimited for a period of time, or just put some money on the card, and then tap in and tap out of the stations. The Oyster works on buses as well, simply tap in to the bus (you don’t have to tap out). Neither the Tube nor the Bus will take cash, so get an Oyster first thing, you will need it. Here is the link to the public transport website.

To Wembley stadium: Wembley is not in the center of town, rather it is in the far Northwest corner of London. Again, take the Tube to the station. There are two lines that go there: the Jubilee and the Metropolitan.

What Else do I do here?

So now you have arrived, what else can you do? London boasts history, arts, theatre, parks and great restaurants. Let me take you on a whirlwind tour that won’t do it justice. I am happy to provide more direct guidance if people want to reach out to me.

History:

The Tower of London (take the tour – it is an hour – and GREAT), Churchill’s War Rooms (experience the Battle of Britain, and how close London was to being invaded), Greenwich (see Naval Observatory – Greenwich Mean Time – beautful park), walk through Westminster (Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Big Ben, the Thames River).

Museums:

My favorite is the National Gallery which provides the greatest hits of art from pre-renaissance up to impressionists and can be reasonably done in a couple of hours. The British Museum is very cool with the Egyptian Art, the Elgin Marbles taken from the relief in the Parthenon, mummies, etc.. it is massive, and you will only be able to do a section of this museum. If you like modern art (I don’t particularly) the Tate Modern or the Tate Britain are for you. Museums in Britain are free, so even if you want to duck in for half an hour, you can do it. The National Gallery is in Trafalgar Square which also is a great spot.

Theatre:

It is spelled theatre in London, so no, it is not misspelled. It is the one thing in London that is a great value. The West End is equivalent to Broadway, but costs 30-40% less. Like Broadway, you can get half price “same day” tickets to a number of plays though TKTS. However, if you want to go to Book of Mormon (highly recommended), or another play that is just out, you will need to book in advance – just use the internet, and book WELL in advance.

Parks:

London does Parks better than any other city I know. Royal Parks are the national parks, and in the center of London there are Hyde Park (go see speaker’s corner), Kensington Park (see Kensington Palace, home of Kate and Wills), Green Park, St. James Park (next to Buckingham Palace), and my favorite, Regents Park. Make sure you bring good shoes. You will walk an amazing amount in London, and the sidewalks are often cobbled or uneven, so don’t be a slave to fashion!

Restaurants:

Too numerous to mention. The days of British cooking being the butt of everyone’s jokes are gone. London is a melting pot – even more than New York City. The ethnic foods are outstanding, and you should definitely get adventuresome. Use OpenTable to find a restaurant, and make a reservation. For midwesterners though, the steak will be expensive and not as good as KC, so opt for other dishes. Really, trust me on this.

Gameday:

Some notes on gameday. They don’t do tailgating here – so go to a pub beforehand, and then hop the tube. Wembley is a great stadium, and really very few bad seats. It is big, so give yourself time to get from the tube to your seat. There is a really good Ribs joint called Rotisserie in St. Johns Wood (which is on the Jubilee line -so easy to get to the stadium). If people are interested, I could see if I could get them to open early, and have a mini-Chiefs warmup. I know some people can’t go to a game without ribs.

Notes:

You get 1.55 dollar to each pound. Both the pound and the dollar have been strong recently, but the dollar has been stronger – so that is good news for.

The time difference is 5 hours to Eastern time, 6 to Central time.

Paris is a 2.5 train ride – so why not add a couple days in Paris? The Eurostar is a nice train – and an experience unto itself.

People speak English, but you will have to listen closely at first because it is really different. They tend to like Americans.

You have to call football, American Football, to distinguish it from soccer.

By November, days are getting short, but it won’t be that cold yet. Bring sweaters that you can put on and take off. England is an island, and the weather is highly changeable.

Hotel rooms tend to be very small in central London. Booking a room in St. Johns Wood or Baker Street may be a good option. It is close to everything (including Chiefs) and not as crazy price-wise.

I am sure that I forgot about a million things, but I may update this as we get closer to the day. ENJOY London – it is a great city.

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History: Memories of the Blitz in Wanstead

The daughter of the original owner of The Bungalow Café in Wanstead returned to her former home this month, speaking about her memories of the Blitz with reporter Douglas Patient.

Betty Jones, now 85, was 8-years-old when her father, Sidney Godly, opened a sweet shop in 1938 on the site of the café in Spratt Hall Road.

But two years later, a year into the war with Nazi Germany, the shop was converted into The Bungalow Café providing meals for a Royal Engineers Corp which was stationed in Wanstead.

Mrs Jones, speaking on her first visit back to Wanstead since moved to Cornwall in 1968, said: “A lot of Royal Engineers occupied several houses in New Wanstead.

“The café became a second home for them and many of them visited in the evening for a meal, it had a family feeling about the place.

“It hasn’t changed much.”

Wanstead Church School’s running team in the 1930s, Betty pictured third from left.

That very year, the Blitz was to batter London.

Between September 1940 and May 1941, around 60 bombs fell on Wanstead, with anti-aircraft guns stationed on Wanstead Flats.

Mrs Jones’s father, Sidney, worked as a voluntary fireman and she remembers one of the Sunday night of September 8 when east London was bombed for eight and a half hours.

She said: “I knew dad was working to help people and he still hadn’t returned in the morning so I didn’t know whether he was dead or alive.

“I remember standing outside the cafe and my dad and his team eventually came around the corner, they were all covered in soot as black as the ace of spades.

“He never talked about what he saw and did and we never asked him about it.”

Betty (right) with her sister Audrey, three years younger, in the 1950s.

Mrs Jones, 10 at the time and attending Wanstead Church School, surprisingly remembers being excited rather than worried by the spectacle.

She spoke of seeing dogfights between Spitfires and a Messerschmitts in the skies above Wanstead.

She said: “It is terrible for me to say but I loved it and it was an exciting time, I used to watch from the top of the steps of the bomb shelter.

“Bombs were dropping all over the place and there were thousands of airplanes in the air, loud noises and bright lights.

“My father built a bomb shelter in the garden which was dank and dark and weeks went by when sirens were going every night all night.”

Though the reality of the situation hit home when a bomb destroyed 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15 New Wanstead, killing three women including one she knew well.

Mrs Jones said: “Mrs Kingsley was well known in Wanstead and it was terrible, I don’t think I fully understood at the time but it was very sad.”

Friends and family of the Godlys, Betty pictured in the middle with dark hair, in the garden of The Bungalow in the 1950s.

The MP for Wanstead and Woodford at the time was the Prime Minister himself Winston Churchill, who was seen regularly in the Conservative Club in the current Manor House pub.

She said: “I have nothing bad to say about him, we all called him Winny and he was like a celebrity to all of us in Wanstead.

“We were proud that he was our MP and he got us out of the mess of the Blitz and the war.”

In 1968, Mrs Jones and her husband sold her house in Voluntary Place for £6,950, a tidy profit as they had bought it for just over £1,000 in 1953.

Though houses in the same street fetch up to £900,000 now.

Her father Sidney died aged 92 in 1993.

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Free museum entry enriches our culture | Letters from Chris Smith, Gillian …

I was dismayed by Jonathan Jones’s article (Museums are not the NHS – they should charge us, 24 July). In a real sense, museums are the NHS of the mind and soul. They are the places where, as a society, a community, a nation, we store our history, our memories, our knowledge, our science, the things of beauty we have created, the special objects we want to hand down from generation to generation. They are collections that have been built up over centuries by payment largely from the public purse. Now Jonathan Jones is suggesting we should pay all over again to go in to enjoy and learn from them. How wrong can he be? Charging for entry would immediately exclude a vast proportion of our society. It would reduce visitor numbers drastically (they rose by well over 100% when free admission came in). It would inhibit the quick visit to see a few favoured objects, savour them, and decide to come back again in a few weeks’ time. It would damage tourism. And it would diminish our national life immeasurably. Our public realm is being impoverished over and over again at the moment. Please, please, don’t add this to the list.
Chris Smith
House of Lords

Free galleries encourage family visits. At half term my family used to enjoy a day in South Kensington together. About half an hour was allowed for each area of interest, chosen by each family member, looking at dinosaurs, fossils, engines, clothes and then whales, with breaks for snacks and a picnic lunch between. No stop seemed long enough, and a return visit on the next holiday was a must. Had the museums charged I am sure my husband would have insisted on devoting the day to seeing everything thoroughly, putting the rest of us off the experience.
Gillian Mulley
Saffron Walden, Essex

Jonathan Jones makes some good points in his suggestion that Britain’s museums need to start charging entrance fees. Like Jones, I have been against entrance charges in the past, but it has become increasingly clear that free entry is having awful consequences.

Many museums, particularly outside London, whose budgets have been severely cut by the government, have become sad places – under-funded, grubby, unloved. Has anyone been to Bolton Museum recently?

Elsewhere, museums have begun to employ Ryanair-like tactics to bring in money wherever and however they can. The other day, a celebrated London collection wanted to charge us £1,500 to film three objects! At those kinds of rates, arts programmes will soon become an impossibility.

Exhibitions are becoming dumber and more sensational. Scholarship is disappearing. Restaurants are getting bigger. Gift shops more expensive.

As the man said, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Waldemar Januszczak, Art critic
London

To pit any part of the cultural sector against the NHS is ludicrous. We live in a complex and nuanced society, which we need to preserve.

About 20 years ago I worked at the National Museum Wales (one of Britain’s “regional” museums that Mr Jones patronisingly refers to) when admission charges were introduced. The visitor figures plummeted but then recovered and even grew after a couple of years. Great? No. What had changed was the demographic. No longer the low-waged visitors but the wealthy middle classes on coach trips. Some years later, when the admission charge was dropped, visitor numbers almost tripled overnight. Once again the national museums were providing a service for all (as was the intention when they were first set up in South Kensington in the Victorian period).

Local authority museums services are being slowly destroyed. If admission charges were introduced it would be the final nail in the coffin as the vast majority are not tourist honeytraps but locally focused relayers of community memory.

At a time when poverty is increasing (worst of all, perhaps, in-work poverty) and families are facing significant barriers to the essentials of life, Mr Jones seems to be advocating raising yet another barrier to arts and culture. There are many, many academically rigorous research projects that prove the health benefits of learning in a museum/cultural context. The real cultural and societal truth is that we all benefit from museums remaining free to everyone.
Essex Havard
Alacs (Adult Learning and the Culture Sector), Cardiff

As an art teacher I took GCSE and A-level groups to the National Gallery, the Tate, and the VA, for over 25 years. Wonderful themed tours of the National would always start with the question “who does this collection belong to?” with common answers being the Queen or the government. Delighted guides would then tell them that it was theirs. Their parents’ taxes paid for it, their future taxes would go on paying for it, and of course plenty of things they buy already include tax. If I go into provincial town museums, information boards will often tell me that a piece has been donated to the town. I take that to mean all of the people of that town. If admission fees are introduced, it will be the poor who will stop going to galleries. After every recent budget the poor pay a higher proportion of their income in tax than the rich. So their taxes will go on subsidising the comfortable, me included, as they visit paying entry fees which don’t make the slightest dent on their income.
Graham Mollart
Farnham, Surrey

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BBC Sport – Usain Bolt wins 100m at London 2012 Anniversary Games – BBC.com

Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt showed a return to form to win the 100m at the Anniversary Games in London.

The Jamaican, who has been struggling for fitness, won both his heat and the final in 9.87 seconds in wet conditions at the Olympic Stadium.

“I really wanted to run faster,” said Bolt, 28, who defends his world title next month. “But it’s getting there.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s double Olympic champion

Mo Farah received a great reception

as he won the 3,000m.

Farah, 32, was competing in England for the first time since allegations of doping were made against coach Alberto Salazar, claims which Salazar and Farah both deny.

Olympic heptathlon champion
Jessica Ennis-Hill,

returning to the scene of her greatest triumph, ran 12.79 in a world-class 100m hurdles – just 0.25secs off the personal best she set on this track three years ago.

On the weekend when she will decide whether to compete at next month’s World Championships in Beijing, the 29-year-old looks like she is finding her best form in her first season back since giving birth to her son, Reggie.

Besides Farah, other British winners on the night were 20-year-old Anguilla-born sprinter
Zharnel Hughes,

a member of Bolt’s training group in Jamaica, in the 200m, and
Laura Weightman,

who triumphed in the 1500m.

Bolt had only raced once over 100m in 2015 before Friday, recording a time of 10.12 in April, because of a pelvic problem.

But his times on Friday were season’s bests and equal sixth-fastest times of the year over the distance, although they are still behind American Justin Gatlin’s world-leading time of 9.74.

Competing on the track where he won three gold medals at London 2012, Bolt started poorly in the final but overpowered his rivals in the last 10m.

America’s Michael Rodgers was 0.03secs behind in second, while Bolt’s compatriot Kemar Bailey-Cole was third in a personal best 9.92.

Significantly, British 100m champion
CJ Ujah

ran under 10 seconds for the second time in his career, equalling his personal best 9.96 on a chilly London evening.

Bolt the showman

Bolt promised to put on a show for the fans who endured a rain-soaked evening in east London to watch him compete in the first of a two-day Diamond League meeting.

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt was driven around the track on the back of a convertible sportscar as he was introduced to the crowd at the start of the evening

As is always the way with the sport’s principal showman his performance was more than a dash to the line: there was a lap around the track in a classic convertible to open the night and the habitual fooling around at the start line before he got down to business.

There are those who question whether we will see the Jamaican, who has run the three fastest times in history, at his best again, because of age and injury.

But he won his heat effortlessly – running into a headwind – and while winning the final was more of a challenge, he still clocked a world-class time.

Thousands roared his every stride, flags waving and flashbulbs popping, simply pleased to see an athlete who transcends his sport back on the track.

Bolt ready for Beijing?

The Jamaican said in his press conference on Thursday he was not intending to lose in Beijing, where he won the first of his three Olympic titles.

Importantly, he has time to improve ahead of the Worlds and is closer to the heels of Gatlin than many had previously thought.

Gatlin, a two-time drugs cheat, has run under 9.8 secs in the blue riband event four times this year – 9.74, 9.75, 9.75, 9.78 – while Bolt has now run just three 100m races.

While the year’s top three 100m sprinters, Gatlin, Asafa Powell and Trayvon Bromell, were not competing in London, Bolt’s times in the Olympic Stadium were a loud and clear message that a successful defence of his 100m and 200m world titles is not fanciful talk.

Usain Bolt and Mo Farah

Bolt and Farah shared an embrace before the Briton’s 3,000m victory

The knee injury which hindered him last season has healed, while the pelvic problem which forced the Jamaican to withdraw from Diamond League meetings in Paris and Lausanne this month doesn’t, on Friday night’s evidence, seem to be serious.

And his form will be a relief to those who regard Bolt as the saviour of an event clouded by doping and feared Gatlin would easily win a sprint double next month.

Ujah raises British hopes with promising run

With less than a month until the World Championships, it was a night full of promise for 21-year-old
CJ Ujah,

which suggests he can compete with the best in Beijing.

He finished ahead of Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut, the fourth-fastest man this season, and compatriot
James Dasaolu,

who was ninth in a disappointing 10.19.

“It’s crazy to run in front of my home crowd. I just want to build on this ahead of Beijing,” said Ujah, one of five men to go under 10 seconds on the night.

“This is my first time running in the stadium, so this is all quite new to me – the atmosphere was just electric.”

Hughes and Weightman make their mark

Zharnel Hughes

produced a stunning personal best of 20.05 to win the men’s 200m in a time that only two Britons – John Regis and Adam Gemili – have bettered.

“I didn’t expect the PB because last week I had a niggle in my hamstring. I was just thinking relax and get to the line,” said Hughes, who earned his British passport last month.

So dreadful were the conditions on occasion, the men’s pole vault was suspended until Saturday, with world record holder Renaud Lavillenie apologising to the crowd afterwards.

When the women’s 400m runners opened the racing the rain had abated and defending world champion
Christine Ohuruogu

went on to finish fourth, 0.18secs adrift of the season’s best 50.82 she set in Monaco last week.

There was a personal best 51.48 for Welsh athlete
Seren Bundy-Davies

in the same race, while in the men’s 110m hurdles her compatriot
David Omeregie

set a personal best 13.50 in the heats.

With British Athletics selecting their squad for the Worlds on 27 July,
Laura Weightman

made a statement of intent by winning the women’s 1500m.

“I’ve had a tricky few races recently and that made me lose a bit of confidence, so this has really brought it back and told me that I am in the right place.”

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Travel back through London’s history with Timelooper’s virtual reality app

On arrival, Timelooper guests are given sturdy cardboard viewfinders in which you place your mobile phone and play each location-based 3D video. (If you have an iPhone 6, or another larger device, you’ll want to hold it in place to stop it sliding out).

“The idea is not to get rid of the tour guide, but actually to enhance the process”, explained my host, who was accredited with the “blue badge” and provided fascinating insights throughout the whole virtual reality experience.

As soon as you hold the 3D headpiece to your face you are immersed in a vivid modern day scene, complete with London’s iconic Gherkin and Shard building gleaming in the sun. Within seconds however, this falls aways to the year 1255, and the paving slabs below become a lawn rolling down to a full castle moat.

When using the viewfinder, sightseers can pan sideways to explore the landscape; a bustling market scene, children playing, and a merchant ship sailing on the Thames. Eventually you even spot an elephant being walked into the tower (which ties in with the surprising history surrounding the royal menagerie).

At the second stop, just in front of St Pauls cathedral, virtual time travelers are able to see the Millennium Bridge whipped away in a cloud of smoke as the Great Fire of London rips through the city. Flames lick from the roof of the early cathedral (before its iconic dome was built), while men desperately pump water from round wooden barrels.

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Travel back through London’s history with Timelooper’s virtual reality app …

On arrival, Timelooper guests are given sturdy cardboard viewfinders in which you place your mobile phone and play each location-based 3D video. (If you have an iPhone 6, or another larger device, you’ll want to hold it in place to stop it sliding out).

“The idea is not to get rid of the tour guide, but actually to enhance the process”, explained my host, who was accredited with the “blue badge” and provided fascinating insights throughout the whole virtual reality experience.

As soon as you hold the 3D headpiece to your face you are immersed in a vivid modern day scene, complete with London’s iconic Gherkin and Shard building gleaming in the sun. Within seconds however, this falls aways to the year 1255, and the paving slabs below become a lawn rolling down to a full castle moat.

When using the viewfinder, sightseers can pan sideways to explore the landscape; a bustling market scene, children playing, and a merchant ship sailing on the Thames. Eventually you even spot an elephant being walked into the tower (which ties in with the surprising history surrounding the royal menagerie).

At the second stop, just in front of St Pauls cathedral, virtual time travelers are able to see the Millennium Bridge whipped away in a cloud of smoke as the Great Fire of London rips through the city. Flames lick from the roof of the early cathedral (before its iconic dome was built), while men desperately pump water from round wooden barrels.

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Montreal monuments, public art tell stories of city’s history

From early military monuments to iron sculptures, much can be learned about Montreal’s history by checking out the tributes to various people all over the city.

Most of Montreal’s early public art consisted mainly of 19th-century monuments dedicated to historical figures and military battles.

“Monuments were used as a reflection of the various communities in Montreal,” says Dinu Bumbaru, policy director of Heritage Montreal. “The competition between the French and the English was also expressed in that.”

The oldest remaining public monument owned by the city is the tribute to British Admiral Horatio Nelson, located at Place Jacques-Cartier in the Old Port.

The stone column topped by a larger-than-life statue of the admiral was erected to commemorate the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Bumbaru says the monument, which predates Nelson’s Column in London’s Trafalgar Square, was funded by public subscription. The donors included French Sulpician priests who seemed to have no qualms about contributing financially to pay tribute to a British war hero.

“We tend to think of Montreal as a sort of gated community: the French, the English, the other ones,” Bumbaru said. “The fact that you have a monument to a British admiral paid by French Catholic priests tells a lot about the…complexity of Montreal society.”

Old Montreal contains a trove of historical monuments within a few blocks of each other — some newer than others.

The Maisonneuve monument in Place d’Armes Square is a tribute to the city’s founder, Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve, and was built in 1895 by Louis-Philippe Hebert, one of the province’s best-known sculptors.

A more recent statue in Old Montreal depicts Marguerite Bourgeoys, who founded several girls’ schools in the 1600s and was canonized in 1982. Artist Jules Lasalle shies away from traditional religious depictions in his 1988 sculpture and shows the pioneering educator leading two children through a fountain.

Dorchester Square, at the corner of Peel Street and Rene-Levesque Boulevard, contains an array of monuments, including those of Sir Wilfrid Laurier (who faces off with Sir John A. Macdonald’s across the street), a Boer War memorial and a statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns.

According to Bumbaru, this collection of monuments is a fitting allegory for Montreal’s complex and sometimes divided history.

“The problem with Montreal’s identity and reality is that it’s better told by a number of voices than just by one,” he said.

In recent decades, the city has renewed efforts to create public art. Unlike the early monuments, these are quirkier and spread around different boroughs around the island.

Among hundreds of pieces, a few are must-sees.

– Alexander Calder’s iconic “L’Homme,” an abstract steel sculpture designed for Expo 67, located in Parc Jean Drapeau.

– Raymond Mason’s much-photographed “Illuminated Crowd”: a polyester-resin statue featuring a crowd of 65 people showing what the inscription calls “the flow of man’s emotion through space.” That is on downtown McGill College Avenue.

– The imposing one-ton figure of legendary Quebec strongman Louis Cyr in the city’s Saint-Henri neighbourhood where he once lived. (Parc des Hommes-Forts, St-Antoine Street, near de Courcelle)

– And John Seward Johnson Jr.’s sculpture “Catching Up” depicts a man reading a life-size, readable bronze copy of the Montreal Gazette from July 4, 1985. (4141 Sherbrooke W).

Even more art can be found within institutions such as universities and government buildings and even in the city’s subway, due partly to a government program that requires developers to allocate a fraction of their budget to art.

In a city known for festivals, Bumbaru says there’s an increasing desire among Montrealers to have a cultural contribution that’s more permanent.

“It ensures we’re a cultural city that can have different times and different seasons,” he said.

IF YOU GO

The City of Montreal’s public art department maintains a list of more than 300 works of city-owned public art at artpublic.ville.montreal.qc.ca/en

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Natural History Museum’s Dippy the dinosaur to go on holiday

Anyone with a very large spare room is invited to apply for a very large house guest: Dippy the dinosaur, one of the best-loved museum specimens in Britain, is going sofa surfing.

The Natural History Museum is inviting any indoor museum in the UK with enough space to accommodate the giant Victorian cast of a diplodocus to apply to host Dippy for at least a four-month visit after it is dismantled and removed from the South Kensington institution’s magnificent central hall, where it has been the star attraction for the past 35 years.

Dippy’s place of honour will be taken by another giant, the genuine skeleton of a blue whale, the largest animal ever known to have lived on earth, brought to the brink of extinction by human hunting. The whale, which was injured by a whaler and then beached at Wexford in south-east Ireland, was one of the first specimens bought by the museum, which paid £250 for the skeleton, though space wasn’t found to put it on display until 1935. The plan is to display it from the summer of 2017 suspended dramatically as if diving from the roof.

Since Dippy arrived in London 110 years ago, the dinosaur has enthralled generations of schoolchildren and appeared in many films. The casts of 292 bones packed into 36 crates came as a gift – by virtual royal command – from the American millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

The museum says it hopes Dippy will be seen by millions more people, visiting all parts of the UK including crossing the sea to Northern Ireland. Each host – invited to register interest from Tuesday – will be expected to organise a programme of public events around the visit.

The museum says the key considerations in choosing the venues will be space, a strong enough load-bearing floor, security and the scope to reach a wide audience. The skeleton, which will have to be dismantled and reconstructed at each site, is 21.3 metres long, 4.3 metres wide and 4.25 metres high – slightly shorter than it was originally, since its position has been altered to reflect changing scientific opinion on the appearance in life of the enormous animals. It was originally constructed with its head up and tail dragging, but now carries the tail dramatically high over the heads of its audience.

The director of the Natural History Museum, Sir Michael Dixon, said: “For many of us that first glimpse of Dippy was a formative moment in our childhood, evoking awe and a genuine wonder at the natural world. A UK tour of the iconic dinosaur will surely prompt curiosity and a desire to explore, helping to inspire the scientists of tomorrow. Generating those ‘lights on’ moments for as many people as possible is at the heart of what museums give to the nation.”

He added that the museum had never sent anything as large as Dippy out of the museum, and conservators had spent months checking that the cast was robust enough to cope.

The fossilised bones of the dinosaur, which lived between 148m and 156m years ago, were discovered by railroad workers in Wyoming in 1898, and recognised as a new species of diplodocus. Carnegie acquired the bones as a centrepiece for his new museum in Pittsburgh, and the creature was diplomatically named Diplodocus Carnegii.

Edward VII saw a picture of the spectacular installation while visiting Carnegie at his palatial Scottish castle, Skibo, and remarked that he would like something similar for the new natural history museum in London. The hint was enough: Carnegie commissioned a replica cast, which arrived in South Kensington in 1905, greeted by an opulent party for 300 guests.

The enormous cast has been moved several times in the museum, and spent the second world war in the cellars for protection. It has dominated the central hall since 1979, and has starred in many films including Paddington, the final Night of the Museum film, Secret of the Tomb, and the 1975 One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing – though in that the thieves opted to steal the more petite Apatosaurus.

When Dippy eventually returns home from his travels, the museum intends to make a permanent display for him in South Kensington.

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Explore Montreal’s history through its monuments, public art

From early military monuments to iron sculptures, much can be learned about Montreal’s history by checking out the tributes to various people all over the city.

Most of Montreal’s early public art consisted mainly of 19th-century monuments dedicated to historical figures and military battles.

“Monuments were used as a reflection of the various communities in Montreal,� says Dinu Bumbaru, policy director of Heritage Montreal. “The competition between the French and the English was also expressed in that.�

The oldest remaining public monument owned by the city is the tribute to British Admiral Horatio Nelson, located at Place Jacques-Cartier in the Old Port.

The stone column topped by a larger-than-life statue of the admiral was erected to commemorate the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Bumbaru says the monument, which predates Nelson’s Column in London’s Trafalgar Square, was funded by public subscription. The donors included French Sulpician priests who seemed to have no qualms about contributing financially to pay tribute to a British war hero.

“We tend to think of Montreal as a sort of gated community: the French, the English, the other ones,� Bumbaru said. “The fact that you have a monument to a British admiral paid by French Catholic priests tells a lot about the…complexity of Montreal society.�

Old Montreal contains a trove of historical monuments within a few blocks of each other — some newer than others.

The Maisonneuve monument in Place d’Armes Square is a tribute to the city’s founder, Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve, and was built in 1895 by Louis-Philippe Hebert, one of the province’s best-known sculptors.

A more recent statue in Old Montreal depicts Marguerite Bourgeoys, who founded several girls’ schools in the 1600s and was canonized in 1982. Artist Jules Lasalle shies away from traditional religious depictions in his 1988 sculpture and shows the pioneering educator leading two children through a fountain.

Dorchester Square, at the corner of Peel Street and Rene-Levesque Boulevard, contains an array of monuments, including those of Sir Wilfrid Laurier (who faces off with Sir John A. Macdonald’s across the street), a Boer War memorial and a statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns.

According to Bumbaru, this collection of monuments is a fitting allegory for Montreal’s complex and sometimes divided history.

“The problem with Montreal’s identity and reality is that it’s better told by a number of voices than just by one,� he said.

In recent decades, the city has renewed efforts to create public art. Unlike the early monuments, these are quirkier and spread around different boroughs around the island.

AMONG HUNDREDS OF PIECES, A FEW ARE MUST-SEES

— Alexander Calder’s iconic “L’Homme,� an abstract steel sculpture designed for Expo 67, located in Parc Jean Drapeau.

— Raymond Mason’s much-photographed “Illuminated Crowd“: a polyester-resin statue featuring a crowd of 65 people showing what the inscription calls “the flow of man’s emotion through space.� That is on downtown McGill College Avenue.

— The imposing one-ton figure of legendary Quebec strongman Louis Cyr in the city’s Saint-Henri neighbourhood where he once lived. (Parc des Hommes-Forts, St-Antoine Street, near de Courcelle)

— And John Seward Johnson Jr.’s sculpture “Catching Up� depicts a man reading a life-size, readable bronze copy of the Montreal Gazette from July 4, 1985. (4141 Sherbrooke W).

Even more art can be found within institutions such as universities and government buildings and even in the city’s subway, due partly to a government program that requires developers to allocate a fraction of their budget to art.

In a city known for festivals, Bumbaru says there’s an increasing desire among Montrealers to have a cultural contribution that’s more permanent.

“It ensures we’re a cultural city that can have different times and different seasons,� he said.

IF YOU GO

The City of Montreal’s public art department maintains a list of more than 300 works of city-owned public art at artpublic.ville.montreal.qc.ca/en/

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