LONDON 2012: Creed's Olympic bells project criticised by leading Church group
MARTIN Creed's plans to get bells to toll across the country to mark the first day of the London 2012 Olympics has received the opposite of a ringing endorsement from a leading Church group.
The Turner Prize winning
artist wants people across the UK to ring bells - from church bells to bicycle bells - at 8am on Friday July 27th 2012, the day of the Olympic opening ceremony.
He wants bells to be rung as quickly and loudly as possible, claiming that since Roman times they have been used to announce special celebrations and processions.
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However, the Central Council of Church Bellringers has dismissed the project - which was today revealed as key part of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival - as 'nonsense'.
"It was a nice idea but it has not been thought through properly," spokesman Alan Chantler told national press agency Sportsbeat.
"It could be seen as anti-social to ring church bells at 8am on a day not normally associated with ringing. The first plan was to do something at an even more outlandish hour of 4am, when the torch arrived in England.
"In addition, ringing the bells as quickly as possible might damage the reputation of ringing, bells should be rung properly and steadily to produce a nice sound.
"The whole idea of getting bells rung for three minutes is a bit of nonsense. The three minutes of frantic ringing would not sound terribly good and many church bells are heavy and are designed to be rung quite slowly.
"The idea was discussed with us but consultation is putting it stronger than it was. We were told about the idea but not asked for an opinion, we would have added an appropriate note of caution."
Mr Chantler added that the Central Council of Church Bellringers were supportive of the Games and were working with composer Howard Skempton on a new music composition for the event.
"We are looking forward the Olympics, for example we are aiming to ring church bells throughout the UK to announce the arrival of the torch relay," he added.
"Also it's also the intention that church bells in London will be rung every time Great Britain wins a gold medal."
However, Creed defended his project, which is part of a 12-week nationwide festival of what organisers bill as the worlds best music, theatre, dance, visual art, literature, film and fashion.
"It wont happen unless people do it," he said.
"I think its something worth trying to do, I do not wish to criticise someone who doesnt want to do that because everyone is free to do what they want.
"If someone doesnt like it I dont know what to say, except that it could be something that sounds nice.
Its a very small idea and whenever I heard bells ringing I always thought it was a brilliant sound. I thought it would be good to make a piece of music that just consisted a lot of bells ringing.
"I dont know which bells are the best ones, so I think it would be better to ring all of them all at once.