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The Illuminated River: Sadiq endorses Boris-backed bridges plan

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a competition to find an artist to design a lighting art scheme for the 17 current and future bridges across the Thames between Albert Bridge and Tower Bridge.

Two years ago we reported that the then Mayor of London Boris Johnson was working with the Rothschild Foundation to develop a lighting scheme for the capital's river crossings.

Now his successor Sadiq Khan has given his backing to the project.

The new Mayor said "This is a really exciting opportunity to breathe new life through the heart of London each night in a new, permanent, fluid light art installation across the capital's historic bridges.

"It will throw a spotlight on the river and its banks, and extend their daytime bustle and buzz into the darker hours, supporting London's burgeoning night-time economy.

"A dazzling, free outdoor art gallery, for Londoners and all of our visitors to enjoy would encourage new investment and promote our great city to the rest of the world.

"With the right design, we can remind the world that London continues to be the global leader in innovation, sustainability and artistic creativity."

Shortlisted competitors will be asked to create the most forward-thinking and environmentally friendly designs, enhancing London's status as a low-carbon beacon and a world leader in cutting edge technology and engineering.

The Illuminated River International Design Competition is commissioned by a new charity, The Illuminated River Foundation.

Hannah Rothschild, chair of the Illuminated River Foundation, said: "Even by London's standards, this project is unprecedented in boldness and imagination: the opportunity to influence and transform the look, identity and experience of the world's greatest city.

"We're looking for the finest artists, architects, designers, engineers, technologists and specialists to work together to help realise this exciting ambition. What matters is bold and innovative thinking to put the art back into London's greatest artery."

The shortlisted schemes will go on show in a public exhibition at the end of the year, after which a winner will be announced.

Details of the competition are available a – the closing date is 7 July.

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