Repair work underway on London’s iconic Big Ben tower
Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 6:00:00
(VOVworld) – Big Ben tower, one of the UK’s iconic symbols, has been undergoing repairssince April 8th. This is the largest refurbishment in three decades.
Big Ben tower is the popular name of the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster in London. Big Ben tower is officially known as the Elizabeth Tower to honor Queen Elizabeth II. Big Ben is the nickname of the Great Bell (13.5 tons) - the largest of the tower’s 5 bells. During World War II, London was bombed by the Germans and one face of the clock tower was destroyed. The clock is now the symbol of the UK’s World War II victory.
The refurbishment of Big Ben tower is scheduled to take three years. During the work, a lift will be installed as an alternative to the 334 steps leading to the top of the tower. Architects plan to restore the face of the clock to its original color. Parts of the clock such as pendulums and cog wheel will be fixed. The 34-million-euro project will see London’s famous landmark partially covered in scaffolding, but at least one of its four faces will remain visible at all times. It’s hoped that the clock will only be stopped for a few months before the familiar chimes continue. The last significant repair of the clock and its 96-metre tower took place between1983 and 1985, giving the clock tower its current black and gold colorscheme.
Since it first chimed in July, 1859, the tolling of Big Ben has symbolized the staunchness of the Britons. When the sun sets, the four faces of the clock are lit up so that it can be seen from dozens of kilometers away. Big Ben tower underwent a 9-month repair in 1976 and a one-and-a-half-month maintenance in 2007. The 160-year-old clock now needs further refurbishment. The Elizabeth Tower is a symbol of the UK’s democratic heritage and forms part of a UNESCO world heritage site.