Britain’s tallest sculpture unveiled in London
LONDON, May 12 — A structure described as London’s answer to the Eiffel Tower was officially launched in London and is set to open just in time to give visitors to the Olympic Games one of the best views over the city.
The ArcelorMittal Olympic Orbit sculpture in East London was officially unveiled to the press yesterday and will welcome its first visitors through the end of July, promising panoramic views across London.
Set at the heart of the Olympic Park, the 35-storey structure rises 114 metres into the sky and is the tallest sculpture in the UK, with both an elevator and a staircase allowing visitors to ascend and descend.
Sponsored by steel company ArcelorMittal, it uses some 2,000 tonnes of steel, 63 per cent of which is recycled, in the tangled lattice, which hasn’t won universal praise — one critic quoted by the BBC branded it a “a contorted mass of entrails”.
However, designer of the tower, London-based artist Anish Kapoor, points out that it’s supposed to be controversial, and that the Eiffel Tower was widely disliked at first, before becoming an enduring symbol of the city.
He is also, it seems, concerned about the proposed £15 (RM75) entrance fee that will be levied on visitors, describing it as “a hell of a lot of money.”
Some visitors will undoubtedly agree, but given the £18.90 cost of 30 minutes on the city’s other landmark experience the London Eye, it’s hardly London’s most expensive attraction.
Visitors will be able to clamber the steel from July 28, although the structure will be closed again after the Olympic Games, for further improvements expected to last until 2014. — AFP-Relaxnews