Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Bellot Memorial

It's an amazing contrast, an Egyptian obelisk whose native environment is the heat and dust of the Middle East, or at best the green vales of the Nile, yet here it is framed by the deciduous leaves of an English autumn, in fact winter. This obelisk stands on the banks of the Thames in the grounds of the Royal College of Music (which inhabits the buildings erected at the end of the 16th century as the Seamen's Hospital). It's not an original brought from Egypt, this one was built in the 1850s as a commemoration of a young French adventurer, Joseph Rene Bellot, who died in 1853on an expedition searching for the missing ships of Sir John Franklin in the Canadian Arctic. Thus it's extremely fitting that it was built at Maritime Greenwich, a stone's throw from where the Cutty Sark has layn since 1950. The image was taken at high telephoto from outside the boundary railings, the framing excluding buildings and the endless London skyline, and the colour, contrast and focus were tweaked for publication. Fuji FinePix S5600, automatic; November, 2007. Image by Mike.

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