London 2012 Olympic cauldron goes on display at Museum of London

As part of London 2012’s opening ceremony, the Olympic cauldron surprised everyone when it began to rise into the air burning brightly. Now, the cauldron has gone on display for the first time at the Museum of London. 

Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the work of art consisted of 204 long steel stems with copper ‘petals’, one for each of the nations participating, seven of which were then lit by the torches carried by young athletes. The flames spread around all 204 petals like a row of dominos falling before being raised up to create to create a fire pit in the air. 

Now Londoners and visitors can see the structure, which was codenamed ‘Betty’, close-up in the City of London, reports. Although not identical to the cauldron used at the opening ceremony – as many original petals were given to the competing nations – some 97 petals have been combined with test models to create two new versions. 

Footage of the opening ceremony, and more specifically the moment the cauldron was lit and raised, plays as visitors to the museum admire the structure’s beauty and ambition. 

Heatherwick told “It’s the moment that the cauldron is lit that is the memorable thing. It was challenging logistically, but that made it I hope more compelling. 

Excited, the exhibition’s curator Georgina Young said: “To see [the cauldron] pulled off so seamlessly was a spine tingling moment – it was witnessed by billions and the impression it gave was that London was positive, exciting and working properly.”