Minerva was the Roman goddess of commerce and wisdom. She is often depicted with an owl, which symbolises her wisdom.
The Gordian knot was a horrendously complex knot of twine – with the ends tucked away inside the knot. The myth surrounding the knot was that anyone who could undo it would acquire great wealth. Many tried, but for decades no one was successful.
In Croydon, Minerva and the Gordian knot have a profound resonance. Croydon has its own Minerva – not a Roman goddess but a property development company. Minerva owns 6 acres of prime real estate comprising the freehold of Allders and St George’s Walk (which includes the office buildings surrounding the shopping precinct). The Gordian knot has a resonance in that Minerva is strapped for cash so that it is “hamstrung” in developing this site.