Campaign to “save our bull” launched as Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony star becomes instant icon

Campaign to “save our bull” launched as Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony star becomes instant icon
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The bull was the centrepiece of the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony and has already earned iconic status in the city ©Getty Images

Birmingham City Council Leader Ian Ward has promised to try to save the iconic raging bull that was the star of the 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony here.

A campaign to “save our bull” was launched after it emerged the creators Artem planned to dismantle the bull after the Games.

“I am delighted with how well the Opening Ceremony bull has been received by the people of Birmingham and beyond,” Ward said.

“The Council is in discussion with partners to see what is possible for the future, after the bull has spent 10 days in its temporary home in Centenary Square.

“In the meantime, I would encourage people to go and see what is a magnificent spectacle.”

Centenary Square was packed today with local people and visitors desperate to catch a glimpse of the bull which has captured everyone’s imagination.

It followed an outpouring of support on social media for keeping the bull in some form as a permanent tribute to Birmingham 2022.

On Twitter, KazofBrum spoke for many when they wrote: “Look Birmingham City Council, that bull is ICONIC. It represents Brum and needs to stay forever. #keepbrumbull. #Birmingham2022”

John Reynard added his support, writing: “It must be kept, if nothing else than to be a symbol of the games being held in Birmingham.”

Artem, creators of the 10-metre-high bull, weighing 2.5 tonnes, revealed that they planned to break up the bull on August 9 – the day after the Closing Ceremony of Birmingham 2022.

The 10 metre, 2.5 tonne bull took 50 people five months to construct and was carried around Alexander Stadium by by a 17-tonne vehicle – but is due to be dismantled the day after the Closing Ceremony ©Artem

“It is a little large to put anywhere really,” the bull’s creator Michael Dollar said.

“It is not really built to last forever.”

Artem director Mike Kelt warned it was too big to easily store anywhere.

“There’s bits in it that have to be taken out, so if it was going to exist forever, somebody would have to pay for those bits to stay in it,” he said.

“That isn’t an enormous sum of money, but I think storage is the problem.

“And to move it somewhere is also a problem.

“It takes quite a bit of effort to move it.

“And being 10 metres high, there aren’t many places you can move it.”

The incredible structure was designed by more than 50 people over five months at the London studios of creative company Artem, whose slogan is, “If you can dream it, we can build it.”

Special effects – smoke from the body and nostrils, tears of blood and lighting from within – were used to show the Bull’s emotions as it interacted with performers depicting Birmingham’s journey through difficult parts of its history through to the present day.

The bull was carried around the Stadium by a 17-tonne vehicle, prompting gasps of wonderment among the 30,000 people inside the Alexander Stadium last Thursday (July 28) and those watching on television.

Dr Justin Varney, the director of public health at Birmingham City Council, was among senior officials to join the #keepbrumbull campaign.

“The bull is spectacular but even more so with its story of slave labour and women chain makers,” he said.

“It is both triumphant but also challenges us.”


1 Comment on this Post

  1. Please save the bull


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