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Art and Soul!

Art and Soul!

Fast Forward International has played a part in bringing a little bit of modern France to the heart of Britain's historic naval establishment.

In the courtyard of the recently redeveloped Devonport House, part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage site (now housing the University of Greenwich), developers Cathedral Group PLC have unveiled The Throne of Earthly Kings, a major piece of public sculpture by the French artist François Hameury. Fast Forward International were asked to arrange the transport of this large and delicate sculpture from the site in Brittany where it was crafted by Francois Hamery, and to assist in the installation in Greenwich.

This installation coincided with HM The Queen's official state visit to France to mark the 100th anniversary of the ‘Entente Cordiale’ (with a reciprocal visit by President Chirac planned for later in the year). More ironically perhaps, the grounds of Devonport House are the old Greenwich Hospital burial grounds, where many naval Pensioners and former seamen of Nelson’s fleet lie buried, including Tom Allen, Nelson's personal servant, and Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Nelson's friend and flag-captain and best known as the man to whom Lord Nelson addressed his famous last words whilst fighting Napoleon and the French fleet at Trafalgar. The Throne of Earthly Kings is situated in the courtyard of the University student accommodation blocks that form part of the redevelopment of Devonport House. It is intended, says François Hameury, to be 'a place where all who pass by can sit and contemplate their futures as they launch themselves into the world, situated as it is in the heart of the place from which so many of Britain's great historic naval expeditions were launched.'

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