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Wed May 22 2024

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Olympic landmark unveiled

14 May 12 Britain’s largest piece of public art has been officially unveiled next to the Olympic stadium in east London.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit was unveiled on Friday at the Olympic Park in Stratford.

Built by Sir Robert McAlpine, the Orbit is the tallest sculpture in the UK at 114.5m.

The tower consists of a continuous looping lattice of tubular steel

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is being handed over to the London Legacy Development Corporation later this month, so that Balfour Beatty Workplace can complete the fit-out ahead of the London 2012 Games where it will be a ticketed visitor attraction.

Some 1,700 tonne of steel was used to build the structure, 60% of which was recycled.

A lift will carry visitors up to a two-storey observation deck constructed 76m in the air, offering views across the London skyline.

The sculpture was designed by artist Anish Kapoor and structural designer Cecil Balmond.

Construction of the ArcelorMittal Orbit took 18 months and required 560m of tubular red steel to form the sculpture’s lattice superstructure.

As a tier two sponsor of London 2012, Indian steel company ArcelorMittal has committed to funding up to £19.6m of the £22.7m cost of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, with the outstanding £3.1m provided by the London Development Agency.

“It gives me great pride to see the ArcelorMittal Orbit standing not only as a completed work of public art but as a physical symbol of the Olympic spirit,” said Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal. “It makes me very proud that ArcelorMittal plants from across the world contributed to this showcase of the strength and versatility of steel,” he adds.

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