GAC beats Olympic challenges to bring Chinese art to London

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    9 August 2012



9 August 2012 – GAC has delivered US$1.5 million worth of Chinese art for an exhibition at London’s historic Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, overcoming a series of Olympian challenges along the way.

In addition to all the usual procedures and precautions needed to get the paintings in place, GAC also had to contend with street closures and restrictions as a result of the London 2012 road cycling races. It was the same scenario when they returned to collect the art at the close of the exhibition which clashed with the men's triathlon on Tuesday this week.

A team of specialists led by GAC's events and sports logistics manager Rob Cotton managed the temperature-controlled transportation of the exhibits from Heathrow Airport to the city centre for the inaugural “Discover Jiangsu 2012 Culture Week", which showcased the tradition and culture of the eastern Chinese province. The exhibition's lavish opening ceremony may not have been on the scale of the London 2012 extravaganza, but it did give rise to similar elation and relief once everything had gone according to plan.

Raft of challenges
"Handling such valuable art is always a challenge requiring careful planning and meticulous attention to detail," said Cotton. "With the support of our GAC colleagues at the point of origin in Shanghai and our own 'Team GB' we were able to overcome a whole raft of challenges. This historic venue has very narrow corridors and even spiral staircases, which meant that like our champion athletes, we had to rely on muscle and sweat rather than the usual lifting equipment to carry the large format art into place, taking care to avoiding any damage to the paintings or the venue."

"To further complicate things, Olympic event traffic restrictions meant that the roads around the Central Hall became no-go zones, so our vehicles had to wait for races to finish and roads to be reopened to reach the destination. We also had to negotiate with Westminster Council to suspend the local resident MPs' and judges' parking bays and provide alternative parking to allow us to deliver and collect the goods."