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13 Mar 2014

The Great Wall of China to become the ‘Great Green Wall’ – as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening lineup for St Patrick’s 2014

The iconic Great Wall of China will become the ‘Green Wall of China’ this weekend, when it goes green for the first time ever to celebrate St Patrick’s Day – joining Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening 2014.

The installation of green lights on the famous wall, to celebrate our patron saint this weekend, will be made possible by the combined efforts of the Irish Embassy and the Tourism Ireland team in China, as well as the Beijing Municipality Government. Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative has gone from strength to strength, with more than 100 landmark buildings and iconic sites around the world signed up to take part this year. And, in another coup for Irish tourism the famous Moulin Rouge will once again become the ‘Moulin Vert’ when the sun sets on 17 March.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore said: “The Great Wall of China is joining the biggest Global Greening to date, involving iconic sites in countries around the world, including Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is, like all the best ideas, simple, inspiring and infectious. It is also, of course, the result of a lot of hard work behind the scenes by Tourism Ireland and our embassy network. The Greenings are emblematic of the relationship that we have built with our Diaspora communities and, increasingly, with countries around the world that take part in the Global Greening out of a spirit of friendship, respect and partnership.”

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said: “Turning the Great Wall of China green is a massive achievement for Tourism Ireland and the diplomatic service. I’m also delighted to see the Moulin Rouge becoming the Moulin Vert. The aim of the Global Greening is to get the world talking about Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, and then persuade them to visit. It’s probably the most effective marketing tool for Ireland ever developed, it costs almost nothing and works incredibly well. We aim to boost visitor numbers by a further +4% this year and the greening of landmark buildings will certainly help us to do that.”

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the fifth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and each year I am delighted to see even more well-known attractions and landmark sites wishing to get involved and join our St Patrick’s celebrations. The addition of another UNESCO World Heritage site – the Great Wall of China – as well as the Treasury in the ancient city of Petra and the Tower of Hércules in Galicia, in Spain – is a major triumph.

“St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us; our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world, while also showcasing our wonderful tourism offering to a huge global audience. Our message is that there has never been a better time to plan a visit to the island of Ireland.”

In North America, Chicago’s week-long ‘greening’ celebrations have already kicked off. In a week-long celebration to make it the ‘GREENest’ city in the world, a host of major buildings around Chicago will be lighting up green this week. Each day of Chicago’s week-long greening, which kicked off on Monday (10 March), will focus on a particular theme or neighbourhood theme – including sports venues, iconic buildings, cultural attractions, food, and so on.


Notes To Editors


Note: first time ‘greenings’ marked *

Great Britain
•    London Eye
•    Selfridges, London
•    Selfridges, Birmingham
•    Selfridges, Manchester *
•    Manchester Town Hall
•    Clyde Auditorium, affectionately known as the ‘Armadillo’ (SECC), Glasgow
•    The SSE Hydro, Glasgow *
•    Glasgow Prestwick Airport *

North America
- United States
•    Niagara Falls (on both the Canadian and US sides)
•    ‘Welcome’ sign, Las Vegas
•    Empire State Building, New York
•    City Hall, San Francisco
•    Massachusetts State House, Boston
•    City Hall, Savannah *
•    Lick Observatory, San Jose, California *
•    Downtown Disney®, Orlando (including the DisneyQuest® Indoor Interactive Theme Park; a ‘Mighty St Patrick’s Festival at Downtown Disney®’ on 16 March; and a special ‘Glow with the Show’ on 16 March, when visitors will light up with their ‘greened’ Disney ears!)
•    Chicago River
•    Chicago MYSTERY GREENING on 17 March *
•    Chicago “Taking it to the Streets” on 10 March
-    Congress Parkway *
-    State Street *
•    Chicago “Tall Buildings and Chicago Icons” on 11 March
-    311 South Wacker Drive “White Castle Building” (65-storey skyscraper) *
-    Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower *
-    Chicago Board of Trade *
-    Millennium Park /Jay Pritzker Pavilion *
-    Soldier Field stadium (home to the famous Chicago Bears team) *
-    Trump International Hotel & Tower *
-    Wrigley Building *
•    Chicago “Eating Green Around the City” on 12 March *
•    Chicago “Broadway in Chicago Goes Green” on 13 March
-    Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University *
-    Bank of America Theatre *
-    Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place *
-    Cadillac Palace Theatre *
-    Oriental Theatre *
•    Chicago “Northside Goes Green” on 14 March
-    State Bank of Countryside *
•    Four iconic skyscrapers in Philadelphia, including
-    Cira Center (29-storey skyscraper in west Philadelphia)
-    One Liberty Place (61-storey skyscraper) and Two Liberty Place (58-storey skyscraper)
-    BNY Mellon Center (54-storey skyscraper)
- Canada
•    Whistler, Canada’s famous ski resort in British Columbia *
•    City Hall, Toronto
•    City Hall, Montreal *
•    Cabot Tower on Signal Hill, St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador *
•    Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa
•    “Tower of Hope” atop the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg *

Mainland Europe
- Austria
•    Burgtheater (City Hall), Vienna
•    Kaprun Castle, Zell-am-See region *
•    Skiwelt Söll (ski resort) *
•    Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel (or Wiener Riesenrad) in the Prater Amusement Park *
- Belgium
•    Brussels Grand Place * including Brussels Town Hall
•    Manneken Pis statue, Belgium (“dressed” in Irish costume)
- Czech Republic
•    Petřín Lookout Tower, Prague *
•    City Hall Viewing Tower, Ostrava *
- Denmark
•    Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
- France
•    Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland® Paris *
•    Euronext Paris (formerly the Paris Bourse) *
•    Moulin Rouge, Paris
•    Irish Embassy, Paris *
•    Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), Lorient *
- Germany
•    TV tower in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz
•    Allianz Arena, Munich
•    BMW Welt, Munich *
•    Amerika Haus, Munich *
•    Odeonsplatz in central Munich
•    ‘Lighthouse’ building in Düsseldorf
•    Neumünster church (built over the tomb of St Kilian), Würzburg
•    Town Hall, Würzburg
•    Olympic Tower in the Olympic Park, Munich *
•    Town Hall, Hannover *
•    Aer Lingus check-in desks at Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg and Munich Airports *
•    AVIAREPS building, Frankfurt *
•    Irish pubs network
- Italy
•    Leaning Tower of Pisa
•    Porta San Giacomo, Bergamo (the imposing entrance to the Città Alta) *
•    Fountain of Piazza dei Martiri, Reggio Emilia *
•    Virgin Active fitness centres in Milan will green their spinning classes *
- Luxembourg
•    Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), Place Guillaume II, Luxembourg city *
- Malta
•    Porte des Bombes, Floriana *
- Monaco
•    Prince’s Palace
- the Netherlands
•    Evoluon Eindhoven *
•    Splendor (music centre), Amsterdam *
- Norway
•    Holmenkollen ski jump, Oslo *
- Portugal
•    Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, Caiscais *
- Slovakia
•    Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel, Bratislava *
- Slovenia
•    Ljubljana Castle *
•    Triple Bridge, Ljubljana (three bridges across the Ljubljanica River) *
- Spain
•    Cibeles Fountain and Palace, Madrid
•    Palacio de Communiaciones, Madrid
•    Tower of Hércules, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galicia
•    Town Hall, Salamanca
- Switzerland
•    Rhine Falls, Neuhausen near Zurich (one of the highest waterfalls in Europe) *

Australia and New Zealand
•    Sydney Opera House
•    Old Parliament House, Canberra *
•    State Library of New South Wales, Sydney *
•    AFL match, Sydney (stadium, big screen, exit lighting and fireworks) *
•    Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney
•    Pitt Street Mall (pedestrianised shopping street), Sydney *
•    Council House, Perth
•    Sky Tower, Auckland, New Zealand

Emerging markets
•    The Great Wall of China *
•    Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower, Shanghai, China
•    Canton Tower, Guangzhou, China
•    Pudong Shangri-La Hotel old and new towers, Shanghai, China *
•    Taj Mahal Palace hotel tower wing, Mumbai, India *
•    Burj Al Arab, Dubai
•    Christ the Redeemer statue, Brazil
•    Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
•    The Treasury in the ancient city of Petra, Jordan *
•    The Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx, Egypt                     
•    El Monumento a la Carta Magna y las Cuatro Regiones Argentinas (commonly referred to as the ‘Spanish Monument’), Buenos Aires, Argentina *    
•    Galileo Galilei Planetarium, Buenos Aires, Argentina *    
•    N Seoul Tower, South Korea *
•    El Ángel de la Independencia, Mexico City *
•    Kingdom Tower, Saudi Arabia *