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QEII Conference Centre set for Casa Italia Olympic makeover

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Following a London Evening Standard report 18 April that Italian Olympic Games chiefs had signed a multi-million pound deal to take over the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (QEIICC) in London as their ‘Casa Italia’, the National Olympic Committee of Italy (CONI) has confirmed it will be using the whole of the centre for a public exposition of Italian companies, as a performance centre for Italian artists and also for hospitality.

Raffaele Pagnozzi, CEO of CONI said: “Compared to the 2008 Beijing Games, the main elements in selecting the location have been prestige, the central position of the venue and the ease in reaching it. In addition, the promotion for the bid of Rome 2020 has also been taken into account.”

“For the first time in the history of CONI,” Pagnozzi added, “the location chosen to host Casa Italia shall also be the used as the headquarters for the Paralympic Committee. The total absence of architectural barriers shall provide a prestigious and functional showcase also for the people involved in the Paralympics.”

Sue Etherington, Commercial Director of the QEIICC said she was looking forward to welcoming CONI to London.

“We are also assisting them create an environment to promote Italy, its companies and artists - thus ensuring they have a commercially successful Olympic period.”

London & Partners, the capital’s tourism board, assisted CONI with the venue selection process.

Italian designers are being lined up to give the QEIICC a style makeover, including turning the basement into “an exclusive retreat” for guests of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, according to the Evening Standard.

Many big nations are setting up Olympic ‘houses’ in London, with the Brazilians using Somerset House, the Russians lining up Marble Arch and France using Old Billingsgate Market.

Japan’s Olympic chiefs will move into No.4 Hamilton Place and Ally Pally will go Dutch, with Holland’s Heineken House taking residence during the Games.

Do you have a news story for CN? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.net

20 Apr 11

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