Great Fire of London anniversary to feature live burn on the Thames

A recreation of the Great Fire of London will set the Thames ablaze on 4 September in a spectacular culmination of a series of events commemorating 350 years since the blaze that ripped through the City of London.

Sculpture: created for London 1666
Sculpture: created for London 1666

Produced by creative events company Artichoke, which has previously worked on projects including Lumiere London, the event, called London 1666, will see a 120 metre-long sculpture of Restoration London floated on the river Thames and set alight in a dramatic retelling of the story of the Great Fire.

The vast representation of the 17th century London skyline has been designed by American artist David Best, working in collaboration with Artichoke. The multi-camera show will be broadcast live online at when the sculpture will be set on fire to commemorate the 350th year since the Great Fire.

The show will be directed by Tim van Someren who created the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony and presented by Lauren Laverne, and will be streamed online. The Space, which empowers artists and organisations through digital media, are funding the live stream and pre-event content for London 1666. 

The project has involved months of work with young people across several inner city boroughs: Camden, Hackney, Islington, Newham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets. Hundreds of schoolchildren have taken part in integrated drawing and history workshops in schools across these boroughs, and designed decorative panels to be included in the final piece. 

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