The City gains seven sculptures

A NUMBER of City of London-based businesses, including Hiscox, Aviva, British Land, IVG UK and Aon, have clubbed together with the City of London Corporation to create Great St Helen’s: Sculpture Space in the heart of the City.

Set among London’s iconic architectural landmarks, including the Gherkin and the Lloyd’s building, a free curated exhibition comprising seven sculptures will be open to all-comers until January 2013.

The curator of the exhibition chose works by internationally renowned artists such as Michael Craig-Martin, Tracey Emin, Angus Fairhurst, Dan Graham, Thomas Houseago, Julian Opie and Yayoi Kusama.

The organisers hope the artworks will draw visitors to the City and encourage them to engage with bold and striking art.

The works have been chosen by a board, which is made up of members of the organisations involved.

The new sculptures add to the buzz around the City these days, ahead of the Olympics celebrations. This weekend sees Celebrate the City, four days of activities including music, walking tours and a street fair.

■ SATELLITE TV giant BSkyB is holding its prestigious summer drinks party tonight, which unfortunately for hosts and guests alike clashes with a rather critical England v Ukraine football match.

Needless to say, given that Sky prides itself on being the live sports presenter of choice, it will be showing the match at the Oxo restaurant, the venue for the occasion.

But in doing so it will be showcasing rival ITV’s coverage, since ITV has the rights to the game on this occasion, given that the Euro Championships are traditionally broadcast by free to air channels.

ITV’s joy at upstaging its rival will be short-lived it if manages to miss one of the crucial goals, as it has done at least once in the past.

BSkyB will no doubt be celebrating its recent victory in renewing its Premier League live rights package for the next three years. It has just agreed to pay £2.28bn to show 116 Premier League football games per season from the season after next.

Meanwhile there will be some interest in whether any politicians show up for tonight’s drinks after the rows over access to ministers during the News Corp bid for BSkyB.

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was recently at pains to dismiss claims that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp was privy to a back channel to help it proceed with its bid for BSkyB, is unlikely to be there for obvious reasons.