World-famous and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sydney Opera House is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its official opening on October 20, 1973.
A week of events will pay tribute to the most iconic of Australian symbols, which houses a complex of performing arts centres below its multi shell-structured roof.
Present at Sunday’s ceremony was the son of Jorn Utzon, the architect who designed the building.
“It is a unique Australian expression of will and enthusiasm and ‘let’s go and do it’ kind of spirit which was so prominent in Australia back in the sixties,” Jan Utzon told the crowd gathered outside the Opera House.
Aboriginal dances, a flotilla of lifeguards, Australian rock star Jimmy Barnes and a giant birthday cake all contributed to the festivities before thousands of onlookers.
Bringing the complicated design to fruition took over fifteen years – a period marked by delays, cost overruns and political rows.
Following the election of a new state premier vociferously opposed to the project, the Danish architect himself resigned in mid-project and left Australia, never to return.