Words: Steve Brown
For the first time ever, London’s iconic Marble Arch was illuminated with the colours of the rainbow flag ahead of Pride in London this Saturday (July 6).
Organised by Marble Arch London BID and in collaboration with English Heritage and Westminster City Council, the historic Marble Arch was transformed for just one night only to celebrate the diverse and inclusive capital.
Kay Buxton, Chief Executive, Marble Arch London BID, said: “Marble Arch has had a long history as a symbol of rightful causes, and it’s only fitting that the monument should now play its part in embracing this important event, the success of which shows how much has been achieved over the years for LGBT+ rights in the UK.
“Of course, unfortunately the LGBT+ community can still face levels of discrimination and intolerance, and this is why it is so important that organisations and institutions continue to support Pride in highly visible ways.
“We are therefore extremely proud to have had the opportunity to transform this much loved London landmark in such a dramatic way, working closely with our partners Westminster City Council and the custodians of Marble Arch, English Heritage, to make this possible.”
Cllr Ian Adams, LGBT+ Lead Member, Westminster City Council added: “Lighting up Marble Arch in rainbow colours is a fun and eye-catching way of celebrating the diversity of Westminster’s community as we count down to the biggest LGBT+ parade in the UK.
“More than 500 groups will be parading through our streets at this year’s Pride in London and transforming Marble Arch is just one of the ways we will be supporting this large-scale and important celebration of the LGBT+ community.”
Alison Naylor, Free Sites Partnership Manager, English Heritage, continued: “The symbol of Marble Arch is interwoven with the history of London, iconic enough that it even has a tube station named after it, and English Heritage are pleased that the landmark will act as a vivid and visible celebration for Pride month.
“As a charity, we are keen to tell the diverse stories of England, having recently hosted our first Pride event at a historic property, and our staff will be celebrating on 6 July with the Museum Pride London Network.”