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A stunning stone sculpture of the Olympic Rings is set to be put into place on Wednesday morning outside Weymouth railway station.
The Rings have been carved by local stonemasons using world-renowned Portland limestone. The Rings will stand 2.5 metres tall, 1 metre deep, 3.8 metres long and will be craned into place at 7:30am on Wednesday morning.
The Rings will provide an iconic and locally distinctive welcome for visitors coming to Weymouth for the London 2012 Olympic Games sailing events. After the Games, it is planned that the Rings will be moved to Portland.
The Olympic Rings sculpture is made up of 10 separate stones and took a total of 190 hours to complete from cutting the templates to fixing the Rings together. The Rings will be set on to a plinth which will also act as a solid foundation.
The sculpture complements a series of improvements being made to the station in partnership with the Olympic Delivery Authority, the South West Trains and Network Rail alliance and Dorset County Council.
Cllr Mike Goodman, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council Management Committee Chairman said:
"We are delighted to be able to welcome the world to Weymouth and Portland for the Olympic sailing events against this fantastic backdrop of the Olympic Rings.
"This sculpture will help the town really stand out and will showcase the outstanding craftsmanship of our local stonemasons using world-famous Portland Stone."
The weight of the sculpture is approximately 9,000kg and will be fixed together at a factory in Portland before being lowered into position by crane. A stainless steel bar and resin will be used to fix the Rings together.
Portland Stone is so favoured as a monumental and architectural stone because the degree of cementation is sufficient to allow it to resist the detrimental effects of the weather, but it is not so well cemented that it can't be readily worked (cut and carved) by masons.
Portland Stone has been used extensively as a building material for major public buildings including St Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and the United Nations Headquarters in New York.