Saturday, November 5, 2011

Britian's biggest piece of public art - At 115 metres high...

Standing Tall for Britain or a Twisted Eyesore? A £22m Monument for London 2012 reaches It's full heigt...

But love it or hate it, this huge tangle of metal is here to stay after the final steel loop was lowered into place on the A £22.7 million ArcelorMittal Orbit earlier this week. Designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor, the controversial structure has now reached its full height of 376ft.
It is not only the tallest sculpture in the UK, but also 72ft taller than the Statue of Liberty and is intended to be a lasting monument to Britain's role in hosting the London 2012 Olympics. Visitors will be able to look down to the showpiece Olympic stadium from the latest landmark to London's skyline.
It will have two observation floors, a 455-step spiral staircase, lift and restaurant. The idea is to go up in the lift and walk down the staircase and take in the views and artistic tricks designed in by Mr Kapoor.

Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, ArcelorMittal's chairman and chief executive who has invested A £19.6 million into the project, described it as 'an ideal showcase for the versatility of steel'. while the remaining A £3.1 million is coming from the Greater London Authority.

When the designed was first unveiled in March last year, it was instantly nicknamed the Eyeful Tower - and likened enthusiastically by London Mayor Boris Johnson to a giant 'hubble-bubble' shisha pipe. But contributors to Twitter and similar internet sites took only minutes to criticise the work. One described it as 'a rollercoaster that costs A £19 million'. Other early phrases included 'twisted spaghetti', 'horrific squiggles' and 'Meccano on crack'.

Financing deals were signed between principal backer Lakshmi Mittal, the steel magnate who is the fifth richest man in the world, who has committed £16million towards the £19.1million cost, and Mr Johnson, who dreamed up the project.

Mr Johnson said last year: 'Some will say we are nuts - in the depths of a recession - to be building Britain's biggest ever piece of public art. But Tessa Jowell, the Olympics minister and I are certain that this is the right thing for the Stratford site, in Games time and beyond.'

Mr Mittal, whose company supplied much of the 1,400 tons of steel, said he had wanted to give 'a lasting gift' to the 'wonderful city' where he has lived since 1997.