This year will see the Colosseum in Rome and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in the fabled district of Montmartre going green for the first time thanks to the efforts of the Embassies of Ireland in Rome and Paris in securing the ‘greening’. Other sites going green for the first time include the Ada Bridge in Belgrade, Serbia and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
Many sites that have previously gone green for St. Patrick's Day will don the colours of St. Patrick this year again. Thes include the Niagara Falls (on both the US and Canadian sides), the London Eye, the Allianz Arena in Munich, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, the Sky Tower in Auckland, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Cibeles Fountain and Palace in Madrid and the Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland® in Paris.
Speaking at the launch Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan said:
“In addition to the obvious tourism and economic benefits which accrue from the greenings, it is very important to stress that the greening of iconic sites around the world is an enormous source of pride to people here in Ireland and to our diaspora overseas.
“I am delighted that the Colosseum in Rome is to be greened for the first time, on the initiative of our Embassy in Rome, and that as recently as last night the Embassy in Paris has secured the agreement of the Mayor of Paris to the first-time greening of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in the fabled district of Montmartre overlooking the city of Paris.
“The greening of iconic sites is also symbolic of the great friendship that exists between Ireland and so many countries around the world. It presents us with an invaluable opportunity to deepen existing friendships, strengthen awareness of Ireland and our rich heritage, and forge new ties.”
"We heard that Nelson’s Column in London will be greened for the first time, at the climax of the London St. Patrick’s Day Festival, which is taking place in Trafalgar Square on 15th March, so new announcements are being made all the time."
Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the sixth 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. In particular, the addition of the Colosseum in Rome, one of the most famous monuments in the world, is a major coup for Irish tourism.
“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 down the generations and, in particular, to the great support we’ve received from the Irish Embassy network, the Diaspora and groups like ShamROCK Chicago. The eagerness to take part underlines the strength of the deep spiritual connection that people everywhere 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.
“People across the world instantly identify St Patrick’s Day with the island of Ireland and that heightened profile allows us to put the Ireland holiday experience in the spotlight – from Sydney to London and Dubai to Rio de Janeiro. Our St Patrick’s programme will span Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia, as well as emerging tourism markets such as China, India and South Africa. There will be saturation coverage of the island of Ireland across the airwaves, in newspapers and digital media – and that’s an invaluable boost at this time of year for our overall tourism marketing drive in 2015.”