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A mock-up of the Giant Beaver Sculpture, Beaverlodge
A mock-up of the Giant Beaver Sculpture, Beaverlodge
Image: Tourism Ireland

The world's largest beaver statue, a giant smurf and a kissing couple sculpture: These landmarks will be lit up for the 'Global Greening'

Over 500 landmarks around the world will be lit green for St Patrick’s Day.
Feb 20th 2020, 1:25 PM 18,745 24

MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, the National Theatre in London and the Smurf Statue in Brussels will all go green this year for the first time to mark St Patrick’s Day. 

Tourism Ireland today announced the sites around the world that will go green to mark St Patrick’s Day this year as part of the 10th anniversary of the ‘Global Greening’ initiative.

The project, now an annual event,  started at the Sydney Opera House in 2010. 

It was now expanded significantly – last year, 470 famous sites around the world went green. 

This year, 500 are expected to be lit up green in less than a month’s time. 

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The success of our Global Greening initiative is due in no small part to the great work that has been carried out across the world by Irish people and the diaspora.”

“The eagerness of cities and countries everywhere to take part underlines the strength of the deep connection that people all over the world feel to Ireland. More than 70 million people around the world claim links to the island of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage,” he added. 

New additions include the Giant Beaver Sculpture in Beaverlodge, Canada – the largest beaver sculpture in the world – and the National Museum of Qatar. 

“We’ll take them all by the way, all this generates really good PR for us,” Gibbons said at the launch today. 

Also in Canada, Vancouver Island’s Hockey Stick and Puck monument – the largest in the world – will also turn green for the first time, while alongside Madison Square Garden the Eiffel Tower replica in Las Vegas will also shine green for the first time this year. 

madison-square-garden-new-york-joins-tourism-irelands-global A mock-up of Madison Square Garden ahead St Patrick's Day. Source: Tourism Ireland

Closer to home, tourists to Amsterdam might be familiar with the giant statue of a kissing couple – it’ll also be turning green this year. 

kissing-couple-xxxl-statue-amsterdam-joins-tourism-irelands How the Kissing Couple Statue in Amsterdam will look this year. Source: Tourism Ireland

“Over the St Patrick’s Day period, Ireland has a unique opportunity to renew the strong bonds with the international Irish community and our global partners,” Minister for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin said today. 

In London, the National Theatre will be turning green for the first time, while in Bristol the 412-metre long Clifton Suspension Bridge will also be lit up. 

london-stock The National Theatre in London is set to go green. Source: Luciana Guerra/PA Wire/PA Images

Last year, Gibbons said that there had been a tongue-in-cheek request for Buckingham Palace to be turned green but it was declined

Anyone hoping to see Buckingham Palace lit up this year will be sorely disappointed. One consolation is that Caerphilly Castle in Wales will instead turn green. 

caerphilly-castle-caerphilly-joins-tourism-irelands-global-g Caerphilly Castle in Wales will be lit green this year. Source: Tourism Ireland

Tourism Ireland has expressed concern about the impact of Brexit on the number of visitors to Ireland. 

Last year was a difficult year for the sector, with visitor numbers to Ireland remaining largely flat. 

The event, Gibbons said, “generates much more awareness for our teams than we would otherwise have around the world”. 

In Estonia, the famous Skywheel of Tallinn will also be lit up – a first for the attraction. 

shutterstock_1381718327 The Skywheel of Tallinn will be turning green. Source: Shutterstock/FotoHelin

Keep an eye out for the monuments and buildings on 17 March, as they join more established landmarks – such as the London Eye and Niagara Falls – in turning green to celebrate St Patrick. 

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Dominic McGrath

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