30-metre Canaletto Thames scene goes on display at London Bridge
A 30-metre long reproduction of one of Canaletto's most famous River Thames scenes - and an inspiration for the design of the Shard - has been unveiled at the newly transformed entrance to London Bridge Station.
The large-scale reproduction of the painting "The Thames on Lord Mayor's Day" (before 1752) graces a temporary side wall at the new station entrance which was completed this week.
Not only is it one of the images from which Renzo Piano drew inspiration for his designs for the Shard, but the original painting will be loaned to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich this year as part of exhibition to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The painting, which depicts the Lord Mayor's Show river procession as seen from Bankside, is owned by the Lobkowicz Collections in the Czech Republic.
The installation of the large-scale image coincides with the unveiling of the next stage of the transformation of London Bridge Station as the new entrance to the station, designed to integrate with the glass facade of the Shard, is unveiled.
"The London Bridge Quarter development has been a catalyst for the much needed modernisation of the station concourse which we are completing with the minimum of disruption to the travelling public," says Irvine Sellar, chairman of Sellar Property Group.
"Bringing the station into the 21st century not only makes life easier for current passenger traffic but will accommodate the planned expansion when the full Thameslink service becomes operational and as many as 75 million people use London Bridge Station every year.
"We are delighted to be able to display this famous Canaletto painting in such a prominent way and at the same time help celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee."
• The Canaletto painting will be part of the exhibition Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames – curated by David Starkey – which opens on 27 April at the National Maritime Museum.