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National Eisteddfod’s new Crown unveiled at the University

11 July 2008

Professor Ken Woodhouse, Karen Williams, Sioned Davies and Hugh Thomas

Inspired by the University’s striking architecture and its historical and educational strengths, this year’s Cardiff University-sponsored Eisteddfod Crown has been unveiled ahead of the 2008 National Eisteddfod next month.

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One of the Eisteddfod’s major prizes, the Crown is awarded to the best free verse on a given subject. The University presented this year’s version to Cardiff & District National Eisteddfod Executive Committee as part of the 125th anniversary celebrations at an event in Aberdare Hall.

Created by north Wales jeweller and silversmith Karen Williams, the specially-designed Crown reflects the many aspects of the University including the iconic Main Building. Flowing within the arches and columns is a flowering plant, derived from the University’s crest, symbolising growth and development.

The majority of the architectural elements are made of silver, with the domes shaped from verdigris copper. The plant is also made from copper, hammered to give it a sense of movement and form. The Crown’s flag is raised in celebration of the National Eisteddfod and the University’s anniversary year.

Professor Ken Woodhouse, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement: "Donating the Crown to the Eisteddfod has become one of the highlights of our anniversary year, particularly as it is being held in Cardiff.

"The institution’s foundations laid 125 years ago have been a continued source of inspiration to so many people who can come into contact with the institution and we are proud to be contributing further to the cultural life of Wales."

Karen, who lives in Llandegai near Bangor, has previously designed and made the Crown for four previous National Eisteddfods. Karen Williams

She said: "I am extremely honoured to have once again been chosen to design and create the Crown. Having the chance to symbolise one of the most distinctive university buildings in Britain in my work has made this one of the most exciting projects I worked on to date."

Elfed Roberts, Eisteddfod chief executive, said: "We are delighted at the financial backing from Cardiff University to meet the cost of the Crown and their support during a momentous year for the university."

The Crowning Ceremony will be held in the Eisteddfod Pavilion on Monday, 4 August 2008 at 4pm, overseen by the Gorsedd of Bards.

The Eisteddfod is the largest and oldest cultural festival of competitive music and poetry in Europe and the premier artistic event in Wales, attracting in the region of 150,000 people annually and more than 6,000 competitors.

Taking place in Cardiff (2 – 9 August), the University will have its biggest and best-ever presence. A high profile interactive exhibition alongside the Science Pavilion will be jointly hosted with partner Techniquest. The prominent position on the Maes and the fascinating exhibits should attract youngsters throughout the week. A number of the University’s academic schools are holding talks, exhibitions, competitions and other activities, including the School of Welsh, Welsh School of Pharmacy and the School of Physics and Astronomy.

The University also sponsored the map of the site for the National Eisteddfod, which will prominently promote the Cardiff University exhibition space, and will feature in the purchased programme.


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